Archive for the 'nuclear power' Category

December 27 Energy News

December 27, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Combating Climate Change Through High-Performance Districts” • If we are going to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C, we need to fix our buildings. They are the largest end-users of energy, generating nearly 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions. But fixing one building at a time won’t work. It has to be done at district level. [CleanTechnica]

Roosevelt Island (NREL image)

¶ “Bright Spots On Climate To End A Dark Year” • As 2020 comes to a close, and it can’t end fast enough, two big climate victories came on the same day, perched atop a clear change in direction mandated by the election. Both were actions by the US congress. One is the Covid-19 relief bill, and the other is a bill allowing the EPA to restrict HFCs. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “It May Be Too Late To Save The World’s Largest Lake From Climate Change” • The largest inland body of water on Earth, the Caspian Sea, is declining precipitously, a study published in Communications Earth & Environment says. Scientists warn it will fall 9 to 18 meters (30 to 59 feet) by the end of the century, if emissions continue to rise. [ScienceAlert]

Oil rigs in the Caspian Sea
(Geopolitical Intelligence Services, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Manmade Microplastics Found In Human Placenta For First Time” • Raman microspectroscopy detected microplastics in a study of human placentas. The researchers analyzed placentas from six healthy women after they gave birth and found 12 microplastic fragments in four of them, ranging from 5 to 10 micrometers in size. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “This Hybrid Renewable Energy Megapark In India Will Be The Size of Singapore” • The massive 30-GW wind and solar project recently founded in Gujarat’s Kutch region will spread over 72,600 hectares (180,000 acres). That area is the size of Singapore. The project will cut CO₂ emissions by as much as 50 million tons annually. [Intelligent Living]

Sunset in Kutch (NandaMunish, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Nuclear Power ‘Not Ruled Out’ But No Appetite For It – Ryan” • Eamon Ryan, leader of Ireland’s Green Party  and Minister for the Environment and Climate, has “not ruled out” the possibility of nuclear power being put to use during the transition to more efficient energy. But he also said there is no appetite for it at the moment. [Irish Examiner]

¶ “Extreme E: Lewis Hamilton Is Helping To Make Racing Environmentally Friendly” • Lewis Hamilton isn’t just the world’s most successful Formula One driver ever, he’s also a key backer of a new off-road electric vehicle racing series called Extreme E. The plan is to promote sustainability and encourage the take-up of electric vehicles. (Video) [BBC]

Extreme E car (David Merrett, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “The Resistance: In The President’s Relentless War On Climate Science, They Fought Back” • The scientists’ efforts were often unseen and sometimes unsuccessful. But over four years, they mounted a guerilla defense that kept pressure on the Trump Administration. Here is a story about how they fought back, keeping science alive. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Elon Musk’s 3 Core Tesla Messages This Year, From Numerous Public And Private Statements” • Tesla CEO Elon Musk has tweeted more than 3,000 times this year. We at CleanTechnica follow his tweets closely, and by analyzing them collected three core messages from Elon this year. They focus on the team, engineering, and manufacture. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla solar roof (Elon Musk, Tesla, via Twitter)

¶ “In 2018, The California AG Created An Environmental Justice Bureau. It’s Become A Trendsetter” • Attorney General Xavier Becerra launched the Environmental Justice Bureau within the Environmental Division of his office in February 2018. It has been so effective in the short time since that it is being copied in other states. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “West Virginia Environmental Coalition Publishes ‘A Citizen’s Guide To Climate Change’” • The West Virginia Climate Alliance, an environmental, civil rights, and faith-based coalition, has a mission to provide science-based education on climate change to West Virginia’s residents and policymakers. It is publishing ‘A Citizen’s Guide To Climate Change.’ [My Buckhannon]

Have a fabulously fine day.

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December 26 Energy News

December 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “It’s Time For Pollution-Free Vehicles And Fuels” • President-Elect Biden has laid out a bold commitment to address our climate crisis with a goal of net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050. For the transportation sector, this would entail a rapid shift to zero-emission vehicles and other cleaner mobility options. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot from Ford Mustang Mach-E Christmas Ad

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E Christmas Ad – Cool, Fun, Great Start (And A Tad Confusing)” • The author saw a Ford Mustang Mach-E ad for the first time on YouTube. It turns out the ad actually came out a week earlier. It now has nearly 2 million views on YouTube alone. Though not technically informative, it will have people think about EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Giant Icebergs Headed For South Georgia Island. Scientists Scramble To Catch Up” • Worried scientists are tracking A68a, a huge slab of ice that cracked off Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf more than three years ago. The giant iceberg is getting close to South Georgia Island, a critical biodiversity hotspot in the Southeastern Atlantic Ocean. [InsideClimate News]

Paulet Island (Credit: Bob Berwyn)

¶ “Greenstand App Assists In Planting Over 500,000 Trees” • The Greenstand app verifies that new trees have been planted and helps tree planters get paid for planting them. When local people are those planting the trees, the benefits can be economic as well as environmental. Greenstand answered questions about their technology for CleanTechnica. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Has 31% of UK Electric Vehicle Sales” • The UK government published plugin vehicle sales figures for the twelve months ending September 2020. They show that 30.69% of new registrations of fully electric vehicles in the UK were for the Tesla Model 3. And the Tesla Model 3 had 20.95% of all registrations recorded for plugin vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India To Bank On Innovative Ways To Garner ₹1.75 Lakh Crore Investment For Renewable Energy Sector” • India will look to be more innovative to attract ₹1.75 lakh crore ($20 billion) of investment to bring in 35 GW of renewable generating capacity next year. India’s target is to have 175 GW of clean generating capacity by 2022. [Livemint]

¶ “Climate Change In Vanuatu: Problems Ensue” • Vanuatu announced its intention to seek legal action against corporations and governments who have benefited from products which had caused climate change and threaten the country. A case of action against global polluters isn’t novel, but the obstacles it faces seem almost insurmountable. [Modern Diplomacy]

Vanuatu (Phil Botha, Unsplash)

Japan:

¶ “Japan Lays Out Plan To Steer Economy Away From Carbon By 2050” • Japan’s trade ministry has released a roadmap to guide Japan’s economy away from fossil fuels. It will foster the growth of green energy industries to bring within reach the elimination of net CO₂ emissions by 2050, as promised by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Japan To Eliminate Petrol Vehicles By Mid-2030s” • The Japanese government announced that petrol vehicles would be phased out over the next 15 years as part reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Japan will reduce battery costs by 50% to make cars more attractive, and it will incentivize offshore wind farms to power them. [Euro Weekly News]

Wind turbine (Alyssa Bossom, Unsplash)

¶ “40-MW Solar Plant Raised And Mounted” • Two large solar plants, with a total capacity of 40 MW are to be built in open sites that have been abandoned in the Kawauchi village, Fukushima Prefecture. The plants will be interconnected and will make use of transmission lines that had been out of commission since the nuclear disaster at Fukushima. [AltEnergyMag]

US:

¶ “Cambridge To Post Warning Stickers On Gas Pumps” • Home to Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts is ground zero for the tree-hugger crowd in the US. So it should surprise no one that it will put warning labels on the gas pumps. Similar warning labels are already found in Sweden, but Cambridge will be the first US city to have them. [CleanTechnica]

Warning label (Courtesy of City of Cambridge)

¶ “Study: ‘What About Florida? Solar Energy And Regulatory Backwardness In The Sunshine State'” • After 30 years working at the Florida Solar Energy Center, Danny Parker wrote a thorough exploration of solar power in Florida for CleanTechnica. It takes a close look at policies and problems driven by the utilities’ need to make money. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Proposals Could Get Cold Reception In 2021 NH Legislature” • Renewable energy advocates say they expect to be playing defense on perennial policy debates in New Hampshire’s Republican-led state Legislature. Lawmakers of both parties have signaled they’ll file bills on issues like net metering, but with opposing intentions. [NHPR]

Have a manageably magnificent day.

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December 25 Energy News

December 25, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Fossil Fuel Vehicles Are Hitting Their Expiration Date” • The signs of Big Oil’s impending demise are all around us. Electric vehicle sales are soaring in Europe. The cost of a lithium-ion battery pack dropped by 87% from 2010 to 2019. One EV-maker has even reported a pack-level battery cost below the much-discussed $100/kWh price point. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Daniel.Cardenas, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “2020 Climate Action From Wall Street: A BlackRock Review” • The Biden team is set to include Gina McCarthy, Deb Haaland, Jennifer Granholm, John Kerry, and other climate actors, is a significant shift from the what Bill McKibben calls “the coterie of coal lobbyists and oil-industry operatives that have decorated the current Administration.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump’s Threat To Veto $900 Billion Covid Relief Bill Puts Major Climate Legislation At Risk” • President Donald Trump’s opposition to a $900 billion coronavirus aid package passed overwhelmingly by US lawmakers late Monday jeopardizes the first significant climate change legislation to win congressional approval in about a decade. [CNBC]

Wind turbines (Alessandro Stigliani, Unsplash)

¶ “The Path To Renewables Is The Path To Lasting Peace In The Caucasus” • In early November, a cautious ceasefire was brokered between Azerbaijan and Armenia, ending one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. A lasting peace will depend largely on renewable energy – and closing one of the most dangerous nuclear plants in the world. [Modern Diplomacy]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Atlantic Hurricane Season Typically Brings About A Dozen Storms. This Year It Was 30” • A record-setting Atlantic hurricane season was fueled by warmer than normal ocean and Gulf waters that scientists say were, at least in part, caused by climate change. In all, there were 30 named storms, the greatest number on record. [InsideClimate News]

Hurricane mishap (John Middelkoop, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Ecolohas Builds Sustainable Homes With Smart Energy Storage System Technology” • Ecolohas Energy Technology Co, Ltd is a new social enterprise focusing on distinctive green energy solutions in Taiwan. The company invests many research resources resulting in innovations in renewable energy and consumption efficiency. [Taiwan News]

¶ “Japan’s Renewable Energy Sector Seeks Carbon-Neutral Windfall” • Since announcing the 2050 renewable energy target, the Japanese government has pledged to spend $20 billion on green tech and set ambitious new wind power targets. But the country has a lot of catching up to do, according to industry players and energy experts. [Japan Today]

Offshore wind farm (Anke Hueper, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “GE’S Newest Renewable Energy Project Is A Giant Turbine That Powers A Home For Two Days With Just One Turn!” • GE’s Haliade-X prototype is the first wind turbine to generate 288 MWh of electricity in just 24 hour. Towering above Rotterdam, the 12-MW prototype was able to power 30,000 homes. Now, a 14-MW version is coming. [Yanko Design]

¶ “Port Of Milford Haven Shows Commitment To Renewable Energy” • The Port of Milford Haven has joined RenewableUK, the trade association for the renewable energy industry. Milford Haven is the UK’s largest energy port and has for many years supported the oil and gas industries with infrastructure and services. [Western Telegraph]

Docks at Milford Haven (Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

¶ “Alberta Decision To Open Rockies To Coal Mining To Face Court Challenges In New Year” • The Alberta government has two court challenges over its decision to rescind decades-old protections and open the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains to coal mining. Plaintiffs argue that legally required consultations were not made. [Globalnews.ca]

US:

¶ “Proterra: New Community Benefits Agreement, Battery Center, And Fleet Charging Solutions” • Proterra is an industry leader in powering commercial vehicles and buses without fossil fuels. But while it leads with customized charging centers and new battery technology, it is also providing good jobs to workers in disadvantaged communities. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra buses charging (Proterra courtesy image)

¶ “Lone Star State Looks To Become A Leader In Renewables” • Texas is already the biggest producer of electricity from wind farms in the US. Now it is on track to become the biggest US producer of solar power, too. A private company, Invenergy, is building a 1.31-GW solar farm in Texas that is going to be the largest in the country. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Senate Energy Infrastructure Commission Leaves Out Environmental Groups” • The first meeting of the Rhode Island Senate commission on electric and natural-gas infrastructure was strictly informational. But we have to note that it steered clear of the controversy surrounding fossil-fuel infrastructure and had no environmental representation. [ecoRI news]

Projections for renewable energy in New England (ISO New England image – Please click on the image to enlarge it)

¶ “Cal-ISO Renewable Capacity Climbs, Storage Resources Coming Onto System” • The California Independent System Operator has had 2.1 GW of capacity added to its grid so far in 2020 with another 3.3 GW permitted with online dates in 2020 or 2021, as the state works to achieve its mandate for 100% clean energy mandate in 25 years. [S&P Global]

¶ “States Racing To Set Goals Toward Net-Zero Emission, 100% Renewable Electricity” • The governors of Louisiana, Michigan, Connecticut, and New Jersey announced putting their states on paths toward 100% renewables or carbon-free emissions. Now, twelve states have done so. The recent stimulus package could be a major driver for the transition. [S&P Global]

Eat slowly and chew your food well.

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December 24 Energy News

December 24, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “My Dream Electric Car” • A lot of people are not able afford today’s EVs, even used. If we are to get rid of the old, polluting cars around us, we need a new class of car for them. It would make sense to have medium-speed cars, designed for ordinary use by ordinary people, intentionally crafted for the greatest efficiency for local driving. [CleanTechnica]

Baker Electric (From an ad ca 1905)

¶ “The Green Fantasy And Messy Reality of Nuclear Power” • Joe Biden has a big job with climate change, and may consider a nuclear option. But a report says nuclear energy is “increasingly struggling in a competitive electricity market with low prices, flat consumption (at best), and ferocious rivals in the renewable energy sector.” [The New Republic]

¶ “Tracking Progress Across Clean Energy Innovation Systems” • Global policy discussions increasingly emphasize the critical role of innovation to meet our long-term energy and climate targets. Investing in clean energy innovation can drive down the costs of existing options and can accelerate development of high-impact breakthrough technologies. [CleanTechnica]

Tech partnerships (Image from NOAA)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Aptera’s Hub Motors Survive Torture Testing, Other Questions Answered” • One of the big departures Aptera is making from today’s automotive world is the use of in-wheel hub motors. These motors are not like older technologies in a number of ways, which leaves potential buyers and reservation holders with a lot of questions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Theory Meets Practice: Renewable Energy Microgrid Powers Research Facility Through Grid Outage” • After NREL launched its Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems platform, a nearby transformer exploded, leaving it without power. ARIES soon adapted itself to use the systems it was working with to run on its own power. [Engineering.com]

NREL’s Flatirons Campus (Image courtesy of NREL)

World:

¶ “21% Plugin Vehicle Share! Open the Gates in Germany!” • The German automotive market has opened the floodgates wide for plugin vehicles. November was yet another record month, with a 24% increase over the previous record, set just the month before, in October. Overall, plugin vehicles scored an amazing 21% auto market share. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “November Breaks Italy’s EV Sales Records And Little Giant Fiat 500e Enters Market” • November was yet another fantastic month for the rise of electric mobility in Italy, as EV sales broke records once again. Traditional car sales struggled as their share of fiscal stimulus ended. And the brand new Fiat 500e debuted in its home market. [CleanTechnica]

Fiat 500e

¶ “Only Belgium And Slovakia Are On Track To Meet EU Air Pollution Targets” • Only two EU’s member states showed how they will reduce air pollution to comply with the emissions limits set out in the EU’s National Emission Ceilings Directive, a report finds. This puts in peril both public health and Europe’s efforts to combat air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greece Fast-Tracks Renewable Energy Projects Worth Over €2 Billion” • In Greece, the Interministerial Committee of Strategic Investments decided to accelerate the licensing procedure for four major green projects for generating electricity. The plants have a total budget of €2.02 billion, and their total capacity will be 2.81 GW. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Solar panels (Sungrow EMEA on Unsplash)

¶ “Tokyo Gas To Tie Up With Octopus To Supply Renewable Energy In Japan” • Tokyo Gas Co said it will invest around ¥20 billion ($190 million) in Octopus Energy Group Ltd, paving the way for the emerging British firm to supply renewable electricity in Japan. They intend that their joint venture will start offering services in the fall of 2021. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Shazam! Garden State Transforms Self Into $500 Million Offshore Wind Giant” • New Jersey is known for many things, and now you can add offshore wind to the list. Construction on a $250 million monopile facility will start in January. But that’s not all. New Jersey is setting itself up to be a major center for all facets of offshore windpower. [CleanTechnica]

Proposed offshore wind sites (Image via New Jersey Wind Port)

¶ “New Jersey Leads the East Coast on Electric Trucks” • New Jersey is on the path to say goodbye to dirty trucks. Expanding on the July announcement that 100% electric truck and bus sales will be electric by 2050, the Garden State became the first state to announce plans to adopt the Advanced Clean Truck and Heavy-Duty Omnibus rules. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Allete Powers Up 303-MW Oklahoma Wind Farm” • Allete Clean Energy has announced the start of commercial operations at its Diamond Spring wind farm in southern Oklahoma. Energy from the 303-MW Diamond Spring site will go to Smithfield Foods, Starbucks, and Walmart, though separate renewable energy sales agreements. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Allete Clean Energy image)

¶ “US Green Investor Funds 1.6-GW Renewable Portfolio” • Green investor Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital has invested in a 1.6-GW onshore wind and utility-scale solar portfolio developed and managed by Clearway Energy Group. The projects are being built in in California, Hawaii, Texas, and West Virginia. [reNEWS]

¶ “California Utility Plans 387 MW Battery Charge” • Pacific Gas and Electric Company has sent a request to the California Public Utilities Commission for approval of six additional battery energy storage projects totaling 387 MW. All the projects have 15-year transmission-connected agreements and comprise lithium-ion batteries. [reNEWS]

Have a surprisingly cozy day.

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December 23 Energy News

December 23, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Electrify Everything: The Cost Of Solar Cells Has Nowhere To Go But Down, Down, Down” • Silicon solar cells deserve a pat on the back for ushering in the renewable energy revolution, but now it’s time for more efficient, less expensive technology to take the wheel. If you guessed that means perovskites, run right out and buy yourself a cigar. [CleanTechnica]

Perovskites and silicon (Photo courtesy of Oxford PV)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Tiny Forests Designed By Feng Shui” • Despite China’s grand environmental plans, its past reforestation efforts using non-native trees and fast-growing monoculture crops haven’t always been successful. Now, some scientists believe that forests based in feng shui, rich in biodiversity, could provide a blueprint for sustainable planting. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Motorcycles Are A Big Deal In Kenya, And Fika’s Plan To Electrify Them Is Progressing Well” • Motorcycles are a big deal in Kenya, with 210,103 registered in 2019. Fika Mobility wants to electrify Kenya’s commercial motorcycles and is confident that the unit economics of its electric bikes will convince riders to transition to them. [CleanTechnica]

Fika electric bikes (Image by Katherine Keango)

¶ “Audi Plans To Electrify The 2022 Dakar Rally” • The Dakar Rally is one of the most challenging automotive events on the planet. The event was originally run in Europe and Africa, but now it is run in different places around the world. Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group, is planning on entering the 2022 rally with an electric drivetrain. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Picks Up 465-MW Contract In Brazil” • Siemens Gamesa has landed a 465-MW deal with asset managers Patria Investments, to supply 75 of its 5.8-170 turbines to the São Vitor wind farm in northeastern Brazil. The turbines will be equipped with  with OptimaFlex technology and optimized for operating at 6.2 MW. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Alberta Rushes To Embrace Coal” • Alberta, the Canadian province famous for pushing the liquid death derived from its tar sands on the world, has seen the light. With oil prices so low and the market in turmoil, Alberta has shifted to Plan B: Alberta will mine more coal and ship it to global markets, just as the coal market is collapsing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enel Starts Spinning 140-MW South Africa Wind” • Enel Green Power’s 140-MW Nxuba wind farm in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province has started commercial operation. The €200 million wind farm has a 20-year power supply agreement with the South African energy utility Eskom, as part of a South African government tender. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Vestas Lands 360-MW Brazilian Contract” • Vestas signed an agreement with Casa dos Ventos for the 360-MW Babilônia project in Brazil. The delivery of wind turbines is planned for the second half of 2022, with commissioning to be in the second quarter of 2023. The project is the fourth contract between the companies in just two years. [reNEWS]

¶ “‘Disappointing’ Decision From Norway’s Supreme Court In Climate Lawsuit Challenging Arctic Offshore Oil Licenses” • Norway’s Supreme Court ruled not to overturn the Norwegian government’s approval of new licenses for offshore oil drilling in the fragile Arctic region. The ruling was a big disappointment for environmental and climate activists. [DeSmog]

Offshore oil rig (Carroll Muffett, Greenpeace, via Twitter)

¶ “Fukushima Nuclear Debris Removal To Be Delayed Due To Pandemic” • TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which suffered core meltdowns in 2011, has decided to delay the removal of nuclear debris by about one year from 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to sources. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Climate Change: Oregon’s Western Cascades Watershed To Experience Larger, More Frequent Fires” • The Clackamas Basin rarely experiences the intense fire activity that burned there during the Labor Day fires, but research out of Portland State University shows such wildfires could become more common under a warming climate. [SciTechDaily]

After the Riverside Fire (US Forest Service image)

¶ “Federal Stimulus Includes Wind, Solar Tax Credit Extensions, Adds First US Offshore Wind Tax Credit” • The stimulus package passed by congress includes extensions on the solar and wind production tax credit and investment tax credit, energy efficiency incentives, research and development “enhancements” for clean energy technologies, and more. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Long Island Eyes Program To Lower Energy Costs, Boost Renewable Energy” • Lawmakers in New York’s Suffolk County will look in the New Year into creating a digital platform to help town and village governments join and operate pacts to lower energy costs for consumers. The platform will be based on community choice aggregation. [WSHU]

Solar array (Pexels image)

¶ “State’s First Wind Farm In Madison County Celebrates 20th Anniversary” • New York state and local leaders are marking the 20th anniversary of EDP Renewables North America’s Madison Wind Farm, the first wind farm in the state. The 11.55-MW wind farm came online in 2000 and has provided clean energy since that time. [Rome Sentinel]

¶ “South Brunswick Passes Clean Energy Ordinance” • In New Jersey, the South Brunswick Township Council voted in favor of an ordinance backed by Food & Water Watch to create a new energy program. Passed unanimously, it will put the town on a path to offer 100% renewable electricity to all residents by the end of the decade. [centraljersey.com]

Have an inspiringly magical day.

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December 22 Energy News

December 22, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Biden Administration Must Double Down On Science” • As President-elect Biden takes office, he will assume leadership of the US government’s scientific enterprise. Once the envy of the world, it has been battered and marginalized for the past four years, as the Trump administration steadfastly refused to follow the lead of science. [Scientific American]

¶ “Let’s Help The Biden Administration Get The Most From 500,000 Charging Stations” • Joe Biden has promised to build 500,000 new charging stations if elected. Bloomberg says the plan could help sell up to 25 million EVs in coming years, but the administration is going to need a lot of help from people like us to get it right. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “US Energy Department Hearts New Silicon EV Batteries” • In batteries, silicon’s superpower is its ability to expand in the presence of lithium. But it overdoes it and expands by 300%, which breaks up the anode. Also, it does not stand up well to conventional manufacturing. The US DOE is funding research to overcome the problems. [CleanTechnica]

Silicon in a battery (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

World:

¶ “Canada’s $170/Ton Carbon Price Makes Heat Pumps Financial Winners” • As part of his ongoing exploration of heat pumps as a wedge on climate change, Michael Barnard assess the fiscal impacts of Canada’s new carbon price of C$170 per ton ($132 per ton) of COon annual heating costs for them compared to gas furnaces. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scotland’s Green Hydrogen Scheme Trumps Blue H₂ BS” • Almost all of the world’s hydrogen comes from natural gas or coal. With technology costs falling, green hydrogen, made from water, is getting closer to being financially competitive. Scotland has introduced its H₂ plan includes very little wiggle room for fossil sources. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in Scotland (Alyssa Bossom, Unsplash)

¶ “Aberdeen International Makes Moves To Boost H₂ Renewable Energy Investment” • Aberdeen International Inc has announced its plans to boost its investment strategy with a wider focus on H renewable energy. The company feels the Hrenewable energy sector is on the cusp of a breakthrough because of the green tech revolution. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ “Construction Starts On 80-MW Dutch Wind” • Construction has started on the 80-MW Kroningswind wind project in the Netherlands, following successful financial close. Kroningswind, located at Goeree-Overflakkee, will feature 19 Vestas V117 wind turbines and is scheduled to produce its first electricity by the end of 2022. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “World’s Biggest Solar Power Plant Project In Abu Dhabi Secures Funding” • The funding is now in place for the world’s biggest solar power project, which is being built in Abu Dhabi. The 2-GW Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic facility is about 35 km from Abu Dhabi city. The project will provide electricity at Dh4.85 fils/kWh (1.32¢/kWh). [Gulf News]

US:

¶ “Michigan’s Anti-EV Bill Dies” • Earlier this month, a bill was passed by the Michigan House of Representatives that would prohibit Tesla from operating sales and services centers in the state. It would also have blocked EV startups such as Rivian and Lucid from operating. The state senate, however, did not put the bill on its schedule. [CleanTechnica]

Lucid studio (Image courtesy Lucid Motors)

¶ “Department of Energy Releases Energy Storage Grand Challenge Roadmap” • The US DOE released the “Energy Storage Grand Challenge Roadmap,” the Department’s first comprehensive energy storage strategy. It seeks to create and sustain American leadership in energy storage, meeting all US market demands by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Inks 55-MW Texas PV Power Play” • EDF Renewables North America has signed the first tranche of a power purchase agreement for the 345-MW Space City solar project in Texas. The PPA, for 55 MW of output, is with global chemicals producer BASF. Space City Solar is expected to commence construction in summer 2021. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (F Neema | EDF)

¶ “Solar And Wind Are 74.6% of Expected US Power Capacity Growth in Next 3 Years” • The good news was that 100% of new capacity power in October was from renewables. The less good news was that only 21.7% of total power capacity is from wind, water, and solar power (not counting small-scale solar, which is over a third of solar capacity). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rebar Leader Nucor Switches To Renewable Energy For Texas Operations” • The top concrete reinforcing steel producer and rebar fabricator has signed a 15-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement with EDF Renewables North America for 250 MW of solar energy in Texas. Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2022. [Concrete Products]

Nucor Steel Texas facility (Nucor image)

¶ “Incoming EPA Chief Vows ‘Sense Of Urgency On Climate’” • Michael Regan gave his first speech as the presumptive head of EPA, and his brief remarks were transformative, both for the 44-year-old Black man who grew up in the shadow of a 1950s-era power plant in North Carolina, and for the battered federal agency he is to inherit. [Scientific American]

¶ “Pacific Power Says It’s Cutting Oregon Electric Bills By An Average 5.2%” • More than 600,000 Pacific Power customers in Oregon will see welcome relief when their electric bills go down an average of about 5.2% in January, the company announced. The move is a result of investments in renewable energy and a more resilient transmission system. [KTVZ]

Have an engagingly esteemable day.

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December 21 Energy News

December 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Are Post-Covid Recovery Plans Green? Not So Much” • The opportunity to turn a Covid-19 recover stimulus into a strong move away from fossil fuels is widely acknowledged. But in at least 18 of the world’s biggest economies, the recovery plan fiscal packages are directed toward bailouts for oil or new high-carbon infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

Flaring gas (NOAA image)

¶ “New US Energy Secretary Should Look To Elon Musk For EV Guidance” • President-elect Joe Biden has given the nod for the next US Energy Secretary to a champion for strong renewable energy standards, former two-term Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. It might be a wise move on her part to chat up Tesla CEO Elon Musk. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal Continues To Take It On The Chin As Investors Flee” • Not even The Tramp Who Couldn’t Spell Straight was able to save the coal industry. It takes more than tweeting in the wee hours of the morning to save an industry from the creative destruction that is a basic tenet of capitalism. The judgment of the free market is pitiless. [CleanTechnica]

Bluewaters coal-burning power plant (Credit: Bluewaters Power)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Introducing Liquid Wind” • Liquid Wind is a Swedish power-to-fuel company that aims to reach financial close in early 2021 for its first facility. Their process captures carbon dioxide, splits water to get hydrogen, and compresses the two together to make renewable methanol. And that can be used as a fuel in a broad number of applications. [Renewables Now]

World:

¶ “European Union Approves World’s Largest Green Stimulus” • EU lawmakers have agreed to provide a €672 billion recovery fund boost for the EU economy. In it, 37% of the funding has to go to projects that help the climate. Unfortunately, there’s also support in there for such “alternative fuels” as biofuels and gas, and none for electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

Zero-emission truck (Image courtesy of Renault)

¶ “Charging Ahead: Siting EV Charging Stations in Hyderabad, India” • Over 15 Indian states are moving forward with EV plans, which will help reduce India’s chronic air pollution problems and climate emissions while supporting COVID-19 economic recovering efforts. To make the shift, a strong public charging system is needed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Are Driving Down Australian Energy Bills” • The Australian Energy Market Commission’s latest annual Residential Electricity Price Trends report shows that costs are falling as renewables build-out replaces inefficient coal-fired generation. Over 4.2 GW of new renewables capacity are to be built over the next three years. [pv magazine International]

Wind turbine (IHBae, pixabay)

¶ “Statkraft To Construct 63-MW Irish Wind Duo” • Statkraft has a reached a final investment decision to construct the 37.8-MW Cloghan and 25.2-MW Taghart wind farms in Ireland and sell them to Greencoat Renewables. The Norwegian developer will begin construction in early 2021, and will undertake long-term operation and management. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Tesla Giga Texas Is Growing At Plaid Mode” • Omead Afshar shared a stunning photo of Giga Texas in which you can see its skeleton coming into shape. The building’s ongoing construction is set against the rolling expanse, under a seemingly endless sky. With so much going on, Tesla could impact the trends of the housing markets in Austin. [CleanTechnica]

Construction at Tesla Giga Texas (Omead Afshar via Twitter)

¶ “Rockefeller Foundation, Created By Oil, Ditches Investments In Oil” • The Rockefeller Foundation, set up in 1913 by John D Rockefeller, has decided to divest from fossil fuels and not make any new investment in the oil industry, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, Rajiv Shah, told CNN in an interview published on Friday. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “NC Will Pay For Climate Inaction: Report” • A report finds that if steps aren’t taken immediately to fight climate change in North Carolina, its citizens will pay the price of inaction over the next 20 to 30 years. The Environmental Defense Fund commissioned the report to look at the short-term financial ramifications of such a failure. [Coastal Review Online]

Coastal flooding at North Carolina’s Outer Banks (NCDOT photo)

¶ “Montana Regulators Force $285 Million Cleanup Bond on Coal Company” • Montana environmental regulators forced the owners of a power plant to provide a $285 million cleanup bond, a move some local organizations hailed as a conservation victory. But Talen Energy, owner of the Colstrip Power Plant, called the amount “grossly excessive.” [Flathead Beacon]

¶ “Camden Firm Receives $147 Million Grant To Develop Small Nuclear Reactor” • Over the past ten years, Holtec has been developing a small modular nuclear reactor to be built at their facility in Camden, New Jersey. The company said last week that it was awarded a grant of $147.5 million, which it will get over seven years to continue development. [Radio.com]

Have an utterly awesome day.

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December 20 Energy News

December 20, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “A Clean Energy Future For Alaska Requires Action By Congress” • Rural communities in Alaska that often face high electricity costs are increasingly turning to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Solar PVs save money even in the Arctic. But to continue installations, it will be necessary for the US Congress to act. [Anchorage Daily News]

Alaskan wind turbines (Loren Holmes | ADN)

¶ “2020: Watt a Year for Building Electrification!” • While 2020 brought a host of challenges to the US, many states and cities still forged ahead with actions to address the climate impacts of a stubborn sector: buildings. Across the country, local leaders are acknowledging the climate, economic, and health impacts of burning fossil fuels in buildings. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “2020 May Be The Hottest Year On Record. Here’s The Damage It Did” • With just a few weeks left, 2020 is in a dead-heat tie for the hottest year on record. But whether it claims the top spot misses the point, climate scientists say. There is no shortage of disquieting statistics about what climate change is doing to the Earth. [Capital Public Radio News]

Fighting a wildfire in California (Ben Kuo, Unsplash)

¶ “NYS Can Achieve 2050 Carbon Goals With Earth’s Help” • By using scientific, technological, environmental, and economic data, Cornell University engineering researchers examined New York’s potential to achieve a statewide carbon-free economy by 2050. They found that New York can reach this goal – and with five years to spare. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “Mercedes-Benz Gets Serious: 10 New Electric Models” • Over the next two years, Mercedes-Benz will announce six new EQ models, three new electric Smart models, and an electric version of its versatile Sprinter van that serves in a variety of roles moving people and for work. All of this all depends on a global battery production network. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van

¶ “Volkswagen Board Supports Diess EV Ambitions, Agrees To Build Flagship EV At Wolfsburg Factory” • After the VW diesel cheating scandal, Herbert Diess was hired to be chairman and turn the company around. His recovery plan made VW a leading EV manufacturer. Now he has the board’s support for building EVs at the Wolfburg plant. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “StorEn Tech Provides First Of Its Kind Vanadium Flow Battery To Australia” • Australia has taken another step toward greater use of battery energy storage. A new 30-kWh StorEn vanadium flow battery has been installed for use in a renewable hydrogen plant at Queensland University of Technology. Flow batteries have many advantages. [CleanTechnica]

Sunrise in Australia (Photo: pexels/pixabay, CC0)

¶ “El Salvador Adopts Action Plan To Accelerate Renewables Uptake” • El Salvador’s masterplan for renewable energy would have up to 682 MW of renewable capacity added by 2026. In the mix would be about 160 MW of small hydro, 200 MW of solar thermal, 90 MW of solar PV, 60 MW of wind, and over 60 MW of geothermal. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Under Pressure From Climate Activists, World’s Largest Insurance Market To Ditch Coal, Tar Sands, And Arctic Projects” • Lloyd’s of London, the world’s largest insurance market, has announced that it will no longer cover coal-fired power plants and mines, tar sands, or Arctic energy exploration activities from January 2022 onward. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Climate campaigners at Lloyd’s of London headquarters
(Insure Our Future Global, via Twitter)

¶ “Windfarms In Great Britain Break Record For Clean Power Generation” • Blustery winter weather helped Great Britain’s windfarms set a record for clean power generation. On Friday afternoon, wind turbines generated 17.3 GW, more than 40% of the national demand, according to figures from the electricity system operator. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Geothermal Energy, The Forgotten Renewable, Has Finally Arrived” • Below the land at the edge of the Salton Sea lies a mineral-rich cauldron of hot water where temperatures can exceed 390°C. If California approves its permit, Controlled Thermal Resources will start operating its Hell’s Kitchen Lithium and Power project in 2023. [Quartz]

Mud pots near the Salton Sea (CTR image)

¶ “President Donald Trump Issues SPD-6” • President Donald Trump has issued the Nation’s Strategy for Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion, which is intended to create a sustainable presence on the Moon and send astronauts to Mars. The move was strongly supported by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, a Trump appointee. [SciTechDaily]

¶ “Biden Introduces His Climate Team” • President-elect Joe Biden introduced key members of his climate change team, saying the effort to reduce carbon emissions will restore the economy and create jobs. Biden, said the climate team will be “ready on Day One, which is essential because we literally have no time to waste.” [bdnews24.com]

Have a indefatigably triumphant day.

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December 19 Energy News

December 19, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Unlike Trump, Biden Believes In Climate Change – And His Nominees Prove It” • President-elect Joe Biden will restore to the presidency a belief that humans cause climate change. Biden made his commitment to science abundantly clear when he announced who he nominated for his economic, health, and environment teams. [CNN]

John Kerry in Mongolia (US State Dept, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Two Former Obama Officials Are Crucial To Biden’s Sweeping Climate Plans” • The fate of the Biden administration’s ambitious climate goals – plans to overhaul the US energy economy in the span of just 15 years – will largely rest in the hands of two longtime government officials who have obsessed on the topic for decades. [OPB News]

¶ “Zero Emissions At Zero Cost? CleanTech Leads The Way” • A new McKinsey & Company report, “How the European Union Could Achieve Net-Zero Emissions at Net-Zero Cost,” lays out a societally cost-optimal pathway to the EU’s emissions targets. The transition could have net-zero cost and produce a net gain of 5 million jobs.  [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Alex Eckermann, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “New Zealand Requires ALL Government Agencies To Buy EVs” • The government of New Zealand passed a law that will require all its agencies and ministries to buy EVs exclusively over internal combustion options. The EV requirement is part of a broader initiative New Zealand has under way to have its public sector carbon-neutral by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Formula 1 Makes Switch To Biofuel, Will Be Carbon Neutral In 2021” • Many people consider Formula 1 to be at the pinnacle of motorsport. It has the most advanced racing cars push the limits of automotive technology. Now, Formula 1 is leading with a 100% sustainable, bio-waste derived fuel and a commitment to be carbon neutral in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Formula 1 transition (Image courtesy of Formula 1)

¶ “UK Should Consider Clean Power Cost Track Record” • The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology urged the UK Treasury to examine the historic cost track record of renewables and clean technologies in studies of the investment required to hit the country’s net-zero targets, strssing that good policy can reduce costs. [reNEWS]

¶ “BYD Delivers 246 eBuses To Keolis In The Netherlands” • BYD has just delivered the initial 246 all-electric buses of the Europe’s largest ever electric bus order to the transit company Keolis for routes in the Netherlands. The order was placed in December of 2019. The buses were built in a BYD assembly facility in Hungary. BYD also has a facility in France. [InsideEVs]

BYD buses in the Netherlands (Image from bydeurope.com)

¶ “Feds Throw Support Behind Development Of Mini Nuclear Reactors” • Canada’s Federal Energy Minister Seamus O’Regan says nuclear power is essential to meeting Canada’s climate goals. He said mini nuclear plants, called small modular reactors, are a key part of that strategy, as he announced federal government support for them. [95.7 News]

¶ “Almost All Of Scotland’s Electricity Generated By Clean Sources” • Scotland generated an amount of electricity from renewable sources last year equal to 90.1% of what it used, latest figures show. In 2019, Scotland generated 30.5 TWh of electricity from renewable sources, 13.4% up on 2018, according to data from the government. [HeraldScotland]

Wind farm in Scotland

US:

¶ “Las Vegas Likes Elon Musk’s Idea For A Tunnel Transit System For The Entire City” • Bloomberg reported that Elon Musk wanted to build a new transit system Las Vegas called the Loop project, and the Las Vegas City Council voted unanimously to advance it. As it now stands, it will be a citywide network that will include hotels, and possibly the airport. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Americans Are Strongly Interested In Electric Cars, Says Consumer Reports” • Over the years, Consumer Reports has conducted surveys showing how Americans feel about EVs. In its most recent survey, 71% said they would consider buying an electric car at some point in the future. That’s up from about 3% a decade ago. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging (Image courtesy of Honda)

¶ “Driving Toward A Majority Renewables America To Catalyze Nearly One Million Direct US Clean Energy Jobs” • A first-of-its-kind study by Wood Mackenzie and the American Clean Power Association says reaching a majority-renewables grid will support 980,000 direct jobs, stabilize wholesale power prices, and cut emissions 60%. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ “Power Plant Stacks That Loomed Over Arizona Come Down” • Three towering concrete stacks that have stood as the most visual reminders of a coal-fired power plant that operated for decades along the Arizona-Utah state line have come down. A series of booms echoed across the land as the stacks fell one by one within seconds of each other. [Shelton Herald]

Navajo Generation Station (Myrabella, CC BY-SA 4.0)
That’s not the demolition – it’s an old photo showing smoke)

¶ “‘Time To Think Big’: New Gas Association Chair Talks About Hydrogen, Renewable Fuels” • Renewable gases and zero-carbon hydrogen will play a key role in decarbonizing the US natural gas distribution system, David Anderson, new chair of the American Gas Association, told a press conference. “This is frankly the time to think big and think differently.” [S&P Global]

¶ “Local Governments Plan For Climate Change With Help From A State Program” • Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have climate plans to cut carbon emissions and prepare for the impacts of global warming. But what about the smaller cities and towns? Pennsylvania has a free state program, in its second year, helping to bridge the gap. [alleghenyfront.org]

Have a thoroughly delightful day.

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December 18 Energy News

December 18, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Top 11 Clean Energy Developments of 2020”  • This will be a year to remember. We will remember it for a global pandemic, wildfires, economic recession, racial justice protests, and locust swarms. But there are plenty of exciting and positive things that happened in the energy space this year. The Rocky Mountain Institute lists its top eleven. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Callum Donovan, Unsplash)

¶ “The Zero Waste Movement Is Finding A Resurgence” • The zero waste movement is trying to eliminate the net production of trash completely. Worldwide role models  are reevaluating the way they perceive the concept of trash, and they demonstrate that we do have the ability to reduce the harmful effects of landfills. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “With ‘Hyperscale’ Renewable Energy Storage, Energy-Sucking Data Centers Suck Less” • Data centers consume massive amounts of energy and their impact on energy consumption is growing worldwide. On the plus side, if energy storage enters the picture, their thirst for kilowatt-hours could become an asset to the grid. [CleanTechnica]

Data center with solar array and battery storage (Google image)

World:

¶ “Buying Clean Energy In Asia Set To Get Easier As Firms Demand 100% Renewable Power” • Research from RE100 shows that renewables face barriers despite their being the cheapest sources of energy in most markets. Corporate demand for zero carbon electricity is driving governments to make it easier to get power purchase agreements. [Forbes]

¶ “Solaris Rolls Its 20,000th Bus Off The Line” • Solaris, a leader among electric bus producers in Europe, has passed a major milestone: It just rolled its 20,000th bus off the production line. The bus was produced in the Solaris factory in Bolechowo, Poland. Solaris has been producing environmentally friendly buses in Poland since 1996. [CleanTechnica]

Solaris Urbino 18 Electric Bus

¶ “Danes Deploy Wind For Balancing First” • Wind energy has been used for the first time in Denmark to provide balancing services for the grid run by Energinet. The TSO said the pilot project in partnership with trading group Energi Danmark shows that wind turbines can reliably deliver electricity to cover day-ahead demand needs. [reNEWS]

¶ “Tesla Is Possibly About To Open Store And Service Center In Romania” • According to Ziarul Financiar, which listed the first job openings, Tesla is preparing to open a center in Bucharest, Romania. Tesla plans to hire five people: a store manager, two service technicians, a service manager, and a sales consultant. Romania subsidizes EVs heavily. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model S at Romanian Parliament building
(Photo by Tomek Gać for Tesla Shuttle and CleanTechnica)

¶ “Japanese Government Launches Appeal Over Oi Nuclear Plant Restart” • The government of Japan appealed to Osaka High Court against Osaka District Court’s ruling nullifying the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s restart approval for two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co’s Oi nuclear plant, which is located in Fukui Prefecture. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Alfen Supplies 12-MW Energy Storage System For Vattenfall’s Hybrid Energy Park” • Vattenfall is building Haringvliet Zuid, its first hybrid energy park in the southwest of the Netherlands. Vattenfall is combining wind energy, solar energy, and energy storage in the project. Alfen is supplying the 12-MW energy storage system. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Energy park Haringvliet Zuid (Vattenfall image)

US:

¶ “Broad Reach Power Acquires Montana Wind And Solar Projects” • Broad Reach Power owns a 5-GW portfolio of solar and energy storage projects in Montana, California, Wyoming, Utah, and Texas. It has acquired two projects in Montana, 250 MW each of wind and solar, which are to be put online in 2022 and 2023. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Canoo Electric Multi-Purpose Delivery Vehicle Starts At $33,000” • Canoo, the newest Southern California electric vehicle manufacturer, has developed a modular electric vehicle platform that can serve as the basis for a number of vehicles. It revealed two versions of what it calls its electric multi-purpose delivery vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Canoo skateboard (Canoo image)

¶ “The Vermont Public Power Supply Authority And Encore Renewable Energy Power Up Solar Array To Benefit Morrisville Residents” • Vermont Public Power Supply Authority and Encore Renewable Energy announced that the Lawrence Brook Solar project is now supplying renewable energy to the electric grid in Morrisville. [EIN News]

¶ “Acciona Starts 198-MW Texas Wind Energisation” • Acciona has started energizing turbines at the 198-MW La Chalupa wind farm in Texas. The project, which is located in Cameron County, is equipped with 63 Nordex AWP3150 machines. The La Chalupa project will be Acciona’s largest US wind farm when it is fully operational. [reNEWS]

La Chalupa wind farm (Acciona image)

 

¶ “Nearby Solar Array Will Supply Bowdoin With Lots Of Maine-Made Power” • As part of its effort to reduce carbon emissions and the effects of climate change, Bowdoin College is partnering with Sol Systems to create a 5-MW solar farm close to campus. With that, Bowdoin’s electricity will be supplied entirely from renewable resources in Maine. [Bowdoin News]

¶ “Two More Cities Join Regional Renewable Energy Agency A Day Before New Board Meets” • In California, Lake Forest and Buena Park signed on to a new Community Choice Energy program, joining Irvine, Huntington Beach, and Fullerton. The program is expected to use investments in renewable energy to lower costs for residents. [VoiceofOC]

Have a delightfully charming day.

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December 17 Energy News

December 17, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Robot That Could Help Make The Shipping Industry Greener” • When a ship sails through the sea, barnacles, mussels, algae, and other organisms stick to its hull. Biofouling increases the drag of ships, so more fuel is needed to power them, which multiplies their carbon emissions. Now, there’s a robot that can help with that. [CNN]

Hullskater robot

¶ “Gas Leaks – And It’s Worse Than We Thought” • An analysis found that all 71 cities evaluated in “The Gas Index,” just released by Climate Nexus, had lifecycle methane emission rates higher than estimated in the US EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. And in some, the emissions were more than four times higher. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Mercedes Reconfiguring Factories To Produce 6 New Electric Cars By 2022” • Mercedes-Benz has announced that it plans to introduce six new battery electric models to its EQ brand lineup by the end of 2022. The company is making major upgrades at six factories worldwide to make them, and it will add battery factories near each. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes EQA (Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)

¶ “South Korea’s New Aim: Bring Renewables From 6.5% To 21% Of Electricity By 2030” • South Korea is increasing its cleantech commitment. Specifically, it is moving to renewable energy faster, with new plans for the next 13 or 14 years. The country intends to increase its renewable electricity capacity from 20.1 GW today to 77.8 GW by 2034. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Credit Scheme Launched For Countries At Risk” • Peace Renewable Energy Credits,  P-RECs, are a creation of the NGO Energy Peace Partners as international renewable energy certificates, or I-RECs, with a supplementary label from the organisation certifying support for renewable energy projects in vulnerable countries. [ESI Africa]

Nuru solar system (Credit: 3Degreesinc)

¶ “Australia’s Newest Coal-Fired Power Plant Deemed Worthless By Japanese Owner” • In accounts for the six months to the end of September, released last month, the Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo said it had written off the “total amount” of its $1.2 billion investment in the Bluewaters power plant in Western Australia, built in 2009. [The Guardian]

¶ “UBS: A ‘Wave Of Capital’ Is About To Flow Into Renewable Energy” • Australia’s wholesale electricity prices are falling as more renewable energy sources enter the mix, according to the multinational investment bank UBS. And over the next decade, the ongoing renewables rollout will help cap the electricity cost at below A$70/MWh by 2030. [Stockhead]

Wind turbines in New South Wales (CSIRO, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Egypt Negotiates For 1,000 MW Renewable Energy Projects: Minister” • Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy is negotiating for new renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 1,000 MW, Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity, told Daily News Egypt. And an additional 1,000 MW contract was signed last week. [ZAWYA]

US:

¶ “Bill Gates, Amazon, And British Airways Are Backing A Hydrogen Plane Startup” • ZeroAvia, a company developing hydrogen-electric technology to power aircraft, said that it’s raised $21.4 million from investors including Amazon, Shell, and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a company established by Bill Gates in 2015. [CNN]

Piper Malibu M350 with ZeroAvia’s powertrain (ZeroAvia image)

¶ “Study Finds US Can Reach Net-Zero Emissions By Spending 3% More On Energy” • The US can completely decarbonize its economy by mid-century without spending significantly more on energy, a report by a team of researchers at Princeton University says. Nuclear energy is not needed under the all-renewables scenario. [S&P Global]

¶ “Minnesota Power Reaches 50% Renewable Energy” • With activation of the Nobles 2 wind farm in southwestern Minnesota, Duluth-based Minnesota Power announced that it had reached its goal of 50% renewable energy. It is the first utility in the state to hit that renewable energy milestone, which it did ahead of its 2021 goal. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Nobles 2 wind farm (Minnesota Power image)

¶ “Study Analyzes Economic Impact Of Renewable Energy In US” • According to a Wood Mackenzie study, by reaching the majority renewable electricity generation within the next 10 years, Kansas will see $11 billion in capital investments from wind and solar projects, 13,700 new renewable energy jobs and $667 million in land lease payments. [WIBW]

¶ “New York City Will Begin Development Of 100-MW Battery Storage Project” • 174 Power Global and Con Edison announced that they signed of a seven-year dispatch rights agreement for development of a 100-MW battery project, the East River Energy Storage System in New York City. The battery will be built in Astoria, Queens. [Environment + Energy Leader]

New York City (Emiliano Bar, Unsplash)

¶ “US Renewable Energy Installations Break Records Despite Pandemic” • Both the solar and wind power markets will see record capacity additions in 2020, while electricity generation from those renewable energy sources has seen double-digit increases amid a decline in the overall US power generation market due to the pandemic. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Spokane Police Will Be Forced To Buy Four Tesla Model Y Vehicles” • The Spokane Police Department will buy four Tesla Model Y vehicles, in accordance with the city council’s orders. In fact, according to The Spokesman-Review, the Spokane City Council actually forced the Spokane Police Department to purchase the Model Ys. [CleanTechnica]

Have an overwhelmingly comfy day.

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December 16 Energy News

December 16, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Public Transit Is In Crisis, But Essential To Our Recovery” • The pandemic continues to rattle every aspect of our lives, and millions of people are still traveling less for work and other trips. Since most transit agencies in the US rely on farebox revenues, this use gap caused an unprecedented budget shortfall for transit agencies nationwide. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus in Poland (Image courtesy of Solaris)

¶ “Al Gore Speaks Out About US Climate Challenges And Opportunities” • In a recent opinion piece in The New York Times, Al Gore wrote about his quest to protect the balance of the Earth’s climate as a “life-threatening battle.” It has “consequences measured not only in months and years, but also in centuries and millenniums.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “South Korea’s Hydrogen Dream With Hyundai Is A Smaller Mistake Than Fraud-Riddled Nuclear Buildout” • The problems hydrogen faces are legion. South Korea is backing hydrogen as a fuel for cars, however, because of its close relationship with Hyundai. Better that, perhaps, than the nuclear investments that recently failed due to corruption. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai EV powered by hydrogen

World:

¶ “Over 100 NGOs Sound The Alarm Over EU’s “Green” Finance Rules” • EU green finance rules must be grounded on science, 130 NGOs and experts have told the European Commission after it proposed to designate fossil-fuel powered ships, bioenergy, hazardous chemicals, and other polluting activities as sustainable investments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Superconductor Connection To Speed Up Offshore Roll Out” • SuperNode and Irish research institute MaREI are collaborating to facilitate offshore renewable development globally that is up to ten times faster. The SuperNode concept focuses on providing a single superconductor connection to offshore renewable energy sources. [reNEWS]

SuperNode concept vs conventinal station (SuperNode image)

 

¶ “Critics Say Turkey’s Unfinished Nuclear Plant Is Already Redundant” • Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party is under increasing fire for poorly planned, prodigal investments, including a nuclear energy plant still under construction while new idle capacity is already threatening to haunt public finances for years. [Al-Monitor]

¶ “Solar Tariff Bids In India Hit New Low Of 2.71¢ Per Kilowatt-Hour” • Saudi Arabia-based Aljoemaih Energy and Water and Green Infra quoted the lowest-ever tariff for a solar power project in India. The two companies offered to set up solar systems of 200 MW and 400 MW capacity, respectively, at ₹2.00/kWh (2.72¢/kWh). [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in India (Citizenmj, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “SA Envisions Becoming Clean Energy Exporter At 500% Renewables In New Climate Plan” • Already a renewables leader, the South Australian government supplemented its vision and investments by announcing 68 new actions and almost A$200 million in new funding as part of its Climate Change Action Plan 2021–2025. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “India Starts Construction Of World’s Largest Renewable Energy Park” • India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially launched construction of a megapark that will produce 30 GW of renewable energy and will be the world’s largest renewable energy facility. The Hybrid Renewable Energy Park is in the district of Kutch in Gujarat. [OilPrice.com]

Indian wind turbines (Rajavel vanaraj, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

US:

¶ “Exxon is in crisis – Angry shareholders are rebelling” • The first credible challenge from shareholders in a long time is coming up at ExxonMobil. Frustrated investors are seeking to overthrow its board of directors. They call for Exxon to rein in its massive spending ambitions, revamp executive pay, and explore a push into clean energy. [CNN]

¶ “Golden Passes ‘GoEV City’ Resolution Committing to 100% Electric Transportation” • The Golden City Council took a big step toward cutting pollution by adopting a GoEV Resolution. It is a set of targets to electrify the city fleet, public transportation, taxis and ride-share companies, and all passenger vehicles in the City of Golden, Colorado. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Supercharging in Colorado (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Biden Plans To Nominate Former Michigan Gov Jennifer Granholm As Energy Secretary” • President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate former Michigan Gov Jennifer Granholm to be the next secretary of energy, two sources familiar with transition discussions told NPR. Granholm will bring experience in promoting clean-energy manufacturing. [NPR]

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E – Is It Worth Your Consideration?” • The folks at Autoblog got their hands on one of the first Ford Mustang Mach-E SUVs and put it through its paces. The first thing everybody wants know is, how does it compare to the Tesla Model Y? Here’s how Autoblog contributor Lawrence Ulrich answers that question. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Photo courtesy of Ford)

¶ “Report Suggests WV Must Embrace Renewable Energy For Economic Growth” • A report from the West Virginia University’s College of Law has a roadmap to a future in which the state is powered by renewable energy. The report says West Virginia will be better off with renewable energy and offers suggestions about how to achieve that. [Charleston Gazette-Mail]

¶ “7-Eleven Moves To 100% Renewable Energy” • Retail chain 7-Eleven has become the most recent major US company to begin a transition to 100% renewable power for its operations. Seven & i Holdings Co, the convenience store chain’s Tokyo-based parent company, has joined the RE100 initiative and committed to the 100% goal. [Retail Leader]

Have an abundantly productive day.

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December 15 Energy News

December 15, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Trump’s Attacks On America’s Natural Treasures: In His Final Days, President Trump Is Selling Our Public Lands And Waters” • In his final days, President Trump is selling our public lands and waters to the highest bidder. The federal government holds these resources in trust, for the use and enjoyment of the people of this country. [CleanTechnica]

Sandhill cranes on the Platte River (Larry Crist | USFWS)

Science and Technology:

¶ “A ‘Frozen Rainforest’ Of Microscopic Life Is Melting The Ice Sheet On Greenland” • Biodiversity is usually considered a good thing, but when it is growing on the ice of Greenland, the profusion of microbial life is absorbing sunlight and speeding up ice melt. It will likely cause global sea levels to rise faster than scientists have predicted. [CNN]

¶ “A palm oil alternative could help save rainforests” • Our use of palm oil is responsible for the rapid deforestation of some of the world’s most biodiverse forests, destroying the habitat of already endangered species. Now the biotech industry says it has come up with an alternative that doesn’t involve burning or clearing the rainforest. [BBC]

Finding an alternative in the lab (Bath University image)

¶ “The UK’s Quest For Affordable Fusion By 2040” • For 65 years, we have been promised that commercial fusion power plants will exist within 30 years. Now, an effort in the UK is trying to do it in 20 years. The technological barriers to practical use of fusion power are impressive, but the challenges are being addressed with some hope of success. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Negligible Risk of Ships Evading EU Carbon Market – Study” • EU regulators have little to fear from shipping companies that might try to evade the bloc’s carbon market if it is applied to long-distance voyages, a study shows. The findings come as regulators prepare a proposal to include shipping in the EU’s emissions trading system. [CleanTechnica]

Ship at sea (JF Martin, Unsplash)

¶ “Commission Approves €30 Billion Dutch Scheme To Support Projects Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • The European Commission has approved, under EU state aid rules, a €30 billion Dutch scheme to support projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands. The scheme will not unduly distort competition. [EU Reporter]

¶ “Denmark, Netherlands Sign Offshore Wind Hub MOU” • Denmark and the Netherlands have signed a memorandum of understanding relating to developing offshore wind hubs linking the countries. The intention is to develop one or more offshore energy hubs for large offshore wind farms, possibly with green hydrogen production. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind hub (TenneT image)

Australia:

¶ “Doosan GridTech To Deliver 100-MW Oz Battery” • Doosan GridTech has been picked to build a 100-MW, 150 MWh grid storage system in Queensland, Australia. Vena Energy Australia is developing the Wandoan South BESS project, which will play a “major role” in improving grid stability and supporting the state’s shift to renewable energy. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australia Storms: Floods Spark Evacuation Warnings For NSW Towns” • Australian authorities have issued evacuation warnings for low-lying towns in northern New South Wale as storms batter the nation’s east coast. According to scientists. climate change is intensifying the heavy rainfalls typical of La Niña and making weather patterns more erratic. [BBC]

Flooding in New South Wales (NSW State Emergency Service)

¶ “Renewables Now Provide 60% Of South Australian Electricity Generation” • Eighteen years ago South Australia had the least renewable energy in the country thanks to hydroelectricity being a tough sell in a place as dry as a Sao biscuit and twice as flat. Now, the state’s generation was 59.6% renewable: 42.9% wind and 16.7% solar energy. [Solar Quotes]

US:

¶ “Aptera Is Getting A Lot of Orders For Its ‘Never Charge’ EV” • Aptera released its “Never Charge” electric vehicle a little over a week ago, and the company already has preorders for over $100 million. Aptera is also seeing lots of views for its launch video, with over 600,000 views on YouTube when this CleanTechnica article was published. [CleanTechnica]

Aptera (Chris Anthony, CEO, Aptera Motors Corp)

¶ “S&P 100 – Tesla In, Occidental Petroleum Out” • The S&P 100 tracks performance of the 100 largest stocks in the US by market capitalization. In fact, the S&P 100 is capitalization-weighted, with members selected from a broad range of industries. S&P Dow Jones says Tesla will replace Occidental Petroleum in the S&P 100 on December 21. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Were The Sole Source Of New US Generating Capacity In Last Quarter” • Figures from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission show that all new capacity added in June through September has been renewable. And for the first three quarters of 2020, renewables accounted for 64.1%, of all new utility-scale capacity. [RenewEconomy]

Solar panels in Colorado (Jeffrey Beall, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Holy Cross Energy Adopts More Aggressive Clean Energy Goal” • Holy Cross Energy solidified its role as an innovator in the power industry Monday with an announcement it will speed up its efforts to convert to 100% renewable sources. The electric co-op unveiled its 100×30 initiative, to provide 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030. [Aspen Times]

¶ “Avangrid Renewables Submits COP For Kitty Hawk Wind Project” • Avangrid Renewables submitted a Construction and Operations Plan to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for the first phase of the Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind project. A study by the Public Strategy Group anticipates substantial economic benefits. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a magnificently pleasing day.

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December 14 Energy News

December 14, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Forget Oil Stocks: Renewable Energy Stocks Are Better Long-Term Buys” • With the pandemic and the growth of renewables, the oil industry’s future has dimmed considerably over the past year. That’s why it might be time for investors to forget about buying oil stocks and instead concentrate their efforts on the renewable energy industry. [Nasdaq]

Pump jack (Zbynek Burival, Unsplash)

¶ “Elon Musk’s Vision For A Carbon Tax Is More Likely Now” • Five years ago, Elon Musk was pushing hard for a carbon tax, though he’s since been relatively quiet about it. According to Matthew DeBord at Business Insider, “the arrival of President-elect Joe Biden’s administration might give Musk a chance to revive his carbon-tax campaign.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Long-Term Fossil Fuel Contracts And Power Purchase Agreements Lock In Pollution” • The clean energy transition has some strong momentum now, but there are also obstacles that hinder it. One of the things that slows down the transition to renewables is contracts that lock in companies to burn fossil fuels for years to come. [CleanTechnica]

Do we want a fossil in our lives? (Huang Yingone, Unsplash)

¶ “Tasmania Blueprint For Countries Forging Ahead With Green Energy Plans” • Kenya is spearheading clean energy efforts in Africa, with 70% of its electricity generation sourced from geothermal energy. But Kenya could learn from the Australian state of Tasmania, which has achieved a goal of  100% renewables two years ahead of schedule. [ESI Africa]

Science and Technology:

¶ “EV Battery Packs About 50% Cheaper Than In 2016” • It can be tough to analyze what is happening in the EV industry because we tend to be static thinkers. We see how things look today and it is hard for us to see how dramatically they can change. The story of EVs, however, is largely a story about how fast the costs of batteries can fall. [CleanTechnica]

EAC-Whisper octocopter, AERO (Matti Blume, SA-BY-CC 4.0)

World:

¶ “Sustainable Batteries For A Circular And Climate Neutral Economy” • The European Commission proposes to modernize EU legislation on batteries. It is the first step in the new Circular Economy Action Plan. Batteries that have a more sustainable life cycle are key for the goals of the European Green Deal and its zero pollution target. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Six Ways The World Has Progressed Since The Paris Climate Agreement” • Five years ago, world leaders met in Paris to adopt the Paris Agreement. Since the adoption of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015, global momentum to tackle the climate crisis has been building. Here are six ways the world has changed.  [CleanTechnica]

Launch of a test balloon (NOAA image, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewables Meet 46.3% Of Germany’s Power Consumption In 2020, Up 3.8 Points” • Renewable sources have met 46.3% of Germany’s power consumption in 2020, 3.8 percentage points more than in 2019, according to utility industry association BDEW. It said that parts of the increase came from a drop in usage in the coronavirus crisis. [Reuters]

¶ “Australian Renewable Energy Agency Backs Vanadium Flow Battery Project In Outback SA” • Technology discovered at the University of New South Wales in the 1980s will be “coming home” on an industrial scale, with ARENA backing construction of the country’s first utility-scale vanadium flow battery in the outback of South Australia. [ABC News]

Outback (Photo supplied: Tony Brady)

¶ “UK Banks On Offshore Wind And Nuclear To Deliver Net Zero” • The UK government has put renewables and new nuclear at the heart of a plan to transform its power system for net zero by 2050. London has reiterated its backing of the 40 GW by 2030 offshore wind goal and 1 GW floating target as part of its energy blueprint. [reNEWS]

¶ “Experts Sound Alarm Over UK Nuclear Push” • Experts warned the UK government that its move to rely on new nuclear to part-deliver net zero by 2050 is “risky” given the sector’s recent track record. Jonathan Marshall of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, warned that billpayers may be “on the hook” to cover costs. [reNEWS]

Hinkley C nuclear plant (EDF image)

US:

¶ “Home Solar Power Blew Up In 2020” • “Global demand for home solar has gone ‘through the roof’ in 2020,” according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Despite the pandemic, the organization found that the rate of  home solar PV installations was 21% higher in the first seven months of 2020 than in the first seven months of 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “State Of New York To End Pension Fund Investments In Fossil Fuels” • Last week, New York State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced that the state would begin divesting its $226 billion employee pension fund from gas and oil companies if they don’t come up with business plans aligned goals of the Paris climate accord within four years. [CleanTechnica]

The clock starts now (Credit: Oil Change International)

¶ “Volkswagen Pilots DC Bi-Directional Wall Charger” • The EV revolution is about more than building an electric car and calling it a day. Volkswagen is looking at all aspects of the transition to electric vehicles and doing everything in its power to keep the revolution moving forward. Vehicle-to-grid technology is no longer an impractical dream. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Racing The Sea: Miami Beach’s Housing Crisis Worsened By Climate Change” • In Miami Beach, 27 of 317 affordable housing units are exposed to the risk of once-a-year flooding, and by 2050 that’s projected to increase tenfold. More than half will face flooding at least four times per year, pushing storm surges higher up the walls of buildings. [WLRN]

Have an indisputably groovy day.

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December 13 Energy News

December 13, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Rising To The Challenge Five Years After The Paris Climate Agreement'” • A new report produced by the UN Environment Program – the Emissions Gap Report 2020 and the Production Gap Report – highlights the urgency of the task ahead. We know how to deliver a safer climate trajectory right now, but major action is necessary. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan LEAF and Renault Zoe in Paris

¶ “Major Department of Energy #FAIL” • The US Department of Energy has just finalized a rule that allows the manufacturers of  residential and commercial appliances and equipment to have an opportunity to write their own tests for measuring how much energy their products consume – and to do so with little government oversight. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The End Of Coal? Why Investors Aren’t Buying The Myth Of The Industry’s ‘Renaissance'” • Three years ago, pictures of bulk carriers queued off the coast of Mackay in central Queensland were framed as evidence of a “renaissance” in the coal industry. Now, there are no ships waiting to load at all. Instead, they are waiting to unload at China. [The Guardian]

Open pit mine in Germany (C M, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Antarctica’s Melting Ice Shelves Are Dangerous” • Half of Antarctica’s ice shelves could collapse in a flash, Live Science reports. A study, which was published in August, suggested that around 50% to 70% of the ice shelves holding Antarctic glaciers in place could become weak and even collapse with surges of meltwater. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Aptera Reveals Solar Calculator” • After CleanTechnica’s deep dive into Aptera’s technologies, one of the questions from readers was how much of a charge they can really expect from the Aptera’s solar cells. Aptera has come through on answering the question by giving everyone a useful tool to help get their answers. [CleanTechnica]

Aptera solar tool (Please click on the image to enlarge it)

World:

¶ “Not Enough Climate Ambition Shown By Leaders” • At the conclusion of a virtual climate summit organised by the UK, UN, and France, Alok Sharma, the UK minister tasked with leading UN climate talks, said that world leaders are failing to show the necessary level of ambition. Nevertheless, he said “real progress” had been made. [BBC]

¶ “Colac’s Renewable Organics Network Is Turning Food Waste Into Biogas, Hot Water And Power” • Colac is a town in south-west Victoria. Its largest employers, Bulla Dairy Foods and the Australian Lamb Company, are working with the regional water company, Barwon Water, to build an Australian-first facility using food waste to make energy. [ABC News]

Colac (Steven Schubert | ABC News)

¶ “After Fires, Australia Gets Ready For Floods” • After bushfires threatened an Australian World Heritage site, it was only days before thousands were bracing for floods on the subtropical east coast, with beaches closed and the authorities urging people to sandbag their homes. As much as 475 mm (18.7 in) of rain fell in 24 hours. [Successful Farming]

¶ “World Bank Supports Maldives To Accelerate Renewable Energy Transition” • The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $107.4 million project to help Maldives transition to renewable energy and support sustainable recovery. Added renewable resources will help the Maldives shift away from fossil fuels. [Mirage News]

House in the Maldives (Sebastian Pena Lambarri, Unsplash

¶ “PM Imran Vows To Scrap Coal Based Power Projects” • Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan is committed to mitigate impacts of climate change. He vowed to scrap its coal based power projects, produce 60% clean energy through renewable resources and run 30% of its vehicles on electricity by the year 2030. [Aaj News]

US:

¶ “US Pushes Harder For Electric Vehicle Makeover” • The latest development, as the Trump administration tries to make things easier for the fossil fuel industry on its way out of office, seems to be that not everyone got the message. It has just unleashed a new round of funding to help launch the US electric vehicle industry into the mainstream. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla at an EVgo charging station

¶ “Trump Administration Drops Green Hydrogen Bomb On Fossil Energy – Just For Starters” • To twist the knife one last time before a new President takes the helm, the US DOE has just earmarked $128 million for sustainable transportation R&D, including $33 million for green hydrogen and other fossil-killing hydrogen projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Indiana’s Plans For Coal Ash Cleanup Are Insufficient, Report Says” • Indiana’s plans to clean up coal ash sites are insufficient, leaving toxins that could further poison drinking water and the environment, according to a report. In 2018, Indiana produced 6.8 million tons of coal ash, a figure that is actually a decline from earlier years. [Chicago Tribune]

Have an optimally enchanting day.

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December 12 Energy News

December 12, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “EU Leaders’ Landmark Climate Goal Could Be Undone By Gutting Of National Targets” • The European Council signed off on “at least” a 55% net cut in CO₂ emissions by 2030, but in a last-minute change to their statement, the leaders said they were still debating “the future of the Effort Sharing Regulation.” So a vital issue remains unaddressed. [CleanTechnica]

Teslas charging in Amsterdam

¶ “EU Transport Plan – Big Step, But Risks Rerun of Biofuels Fiasco” • The EU charted a course for aviation and shipping out of the Covid crisis without fossil fuels. Transport & Environment welcomed the European Commission’s mobility strategy but pointed out risks in the heavy reliance on biofuels instead of electrofuels for planes and ships. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solid State Batteries – They’re Everywhere! They’re Everywhere!” • Solid state battery technology is supposed to give us lower priced EVs with more range and faster charging times. All of a sudden, in the labs, they are like Chicken Man. They’re everywhere! They’re everywhere! But they have to make it from the lab to the road. [CleanTechnica]

Progress in the lab: new vs older cells (Solid Power image)

¶ “Does Low-Cost Renewable Energy, Storage Mean Hydrogen Is Here To Stay?” • Electrolysis costs have decreased 40% over the past five years, putting green hydrogen on track to achieve cost parity with hydrogen converted from fossil fuels, according to Ajay Mehta, general manager for new energies research and technology at Shell. [Utility Dive]

World:

¶ “The Nissan LEAF Is 10 Years Old, 500,000+ Sold Worldwide” • This week, Nissan celebrated the tenth anniversary of the LEAF. How time flies! In those 10 years, Nissan has sold over 500,000 LEAFs. The LEAF has changed tremendously, but most notably in one regard – range. And Nissan is selling the LEAF globally just about everywhere it can. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan LEAFs

¶ “A Carbon Price In Canada Of C$170 By 2030 Is Great Climate News” • Today, Canada’s federal government dropped its new climate change plan, led by a very big number: C$170 ($133) per ton of CO₂ as a carbon price by 2030. This is excellent news, and let’s hope it persists in the face of inevitable opposition. Here is a look at what this means. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norway Launches Major Wind Power Research Center” • Tina Bru, Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, announced an investment of kr120 million (€11.3 million) in a new wind power research center. The NorthWind research center will work on innovations to make wind power cheaper, more efficient, and more sustainable. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Hywind Scotland offshore wind farm (Øyvind Gravås | Equinor)

¶ “Climate Change: UK To End Aid For Fossil Fuel Projects Abroad” • The government of the UK has announced that it will end direct support for overseas fossil fuel projects, as the UK hosts a key climate summit. The move means the UK will no longer provide export finance or aid funding for oil, gas, or coal projects. [BBC News]

¶ “Eco Wave Power Signs A Collaboration Agreement With Meridian Energy” • Eco Wave Power announced that it signed a collaboration agreement with Meridian Energy Australia. Under the agreement, they will investigate development of commercial wave energy power projects in the Australian National Electricity Market. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wave energy power generator (©Eco Wave Power)

¶ “Electricity Price Spikes Due To Olkiluoto Outage” • The price of ‘balancing power’ rarely rises to several hundred euros per MWh in Finland. On Thursday, however, the price spiked to €3,500/MWh at 1:00 pm, shortly after an emergency shutdown of the Olkiluoto 2 nuclear reactor. The price was €139/MWh at 1:00 pm on Wednesday. [YLE News]

¶ “Arctech Solar Provides Trackers To Largest Single-Site Renewable Energy Project” • Arctech Solar, a solar mounting system company, provided the tracking mounts to a 3.2-GW solar park in the Qinghai province of China. The project was recently connected to the grid. The tracking mounts increase the site’s efficiency. [Solar Industry]

Arctech solar trackers (Screenshot)

US:

¶ “New York V2G Project Using Five Electric School Buses Is Live” • New York utility Con Edison is trialling vehicle-to-grid tech with a set of five electric school buses in White Plains. They get charged when demand is low and can help meet high grid demand when they are not in use. Nuvve Corporation is the project’s tech leader. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Blue Bird Sells Its 300th Electric School Bus, And First In Texas” • Bus manufacturer Blue Bird has seen rapidly growing demand for its electric buses. It delivered its 100th electric bus in April. Since that time, orders have risen to 300. Blue Bird electric buses have a lot of room for growth. It has sold 550,000 fossil-powered buses since 1927. [CleanTechnica]

Blue Bird electric school bus in Texas

¶ “Brookfield To Acquire 1-GW US PV Portfolio” • Brookfield Renewable and its institutional partners are to acquire a distributed generation development platform from Exelon Generation Company comprising 360 MW of operating solar at nearly 600 sites in the US, along with a further 700 MW under development, for $810 million. [reNEWS]

¶ “Thousands Of NJ’s Affordable Homes Under Threat From Climate Change Flooding” • Sunny Day flooding is a constant, creeping threat in Atlantic City. These days, it only takes a particularly high tide for water to spill onto the city’s streets. The highest tides reach more than a foot higher than they did a century ago. [NBC 10 Philadelphia]

Have an absurdly excellent day.

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December 11 Energy News

December 11, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Duke Energy Renewables Invests In Bald Eagle Research, Education In Oklahoma” • Duke Energy is a leader in developing national best practices to reduce bird impacts at wind facilities and from power lines. It partnered with Sutton Avian Research Center in Oklahoma to install an eagle nest camera, which now has its video livestreaming. [Duke Energy News Center]

Bald eagle (Sanket Darji, Unsplash)

¶ “Covid drives record emissions drop in 2020” • The global response to the Covid-19 pandemic has driven the biggest annual fall in CO₂ emissions since World War Two, say researchers. Emissions declined by around 7%. France and the UK saw the greatest falls, mainly due to shutdowns in response to a second wave of infections. [BBC]

¶ “Ocean Cleanup Sets Its Sights On World’s Most Polluted Rivers” • After a little over a year of successfully dragging tons of plastic waste and pollution out of the world’s oceans, The Ocean Cleanup company has decided to tackle the primary source of ocean pollution: polluted rivers. They use a type of river vessel called an Interceptor. [CleanTechnica]

Interceptor (Image courtesy of The Ocean Cleanup)

World:

¶ “Battery Law Can Help Europe Become Green Battery Powerhouse” • The European Commission’s proposal for the world’s first ever sustainable battery law can make batteries even cleaner than today and ensure their sourcing is ethical and environmentally responsible, green group Transport & Environment has said. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ministers Greenlight 50% Toll Discount for Emissions-Free Trucks” • Hauliers driving emissions-free trucks will get at least half off road tolls in the EU under a new tolling system given the go-ahead by transport ministers this week. Fossil fuel trucks will be charged based on their CO₂ emissions, with more efficient vehicles paying less. [CleanTechnica]

Daimler FUSO electric truck (Mitsubishi image)

¶ “Unilever, Microsoft, 11 More Companies Join The Climate Pledge” • Thirteen new signatories – Atos, Brooks, Canary Wharf Group, Coca-Cola European Partners, ERM, Groupe SEB France, Harbour Air, ITV, Microsoft, Neste, Rubicon, Unilever, and Vaude – joined The Climate Pledge, committing to net-zero carbon by 2040. [Environment + Energy Leader]

¶ “The New, All New, Really New Toyota Mirai – It’s NEW!” • Toyota continues to work hard on the hydrogen fuels in an attempt to support the national policies of the Japanese government, which sees a hydrogen based economy as its ticket to energy independence. It has come up with an all new version of its fuel cell car, the Mirai. [CleanTechnica]

Mirai powertrain (Courtesy of Toyota)

¶ “Up To 90% Of Electricity From Solar And Wind The Cheapest Option By 2030: CSIRO Analysis” • With the cost of energy generated from wind and solar now less than coal, the share of Australia’s electricity coming from renewables has reached 23%. The federal government projects the share will reach 50% by 2030. [The Conversation AU]

¶ “‘Overwhelming interest’ for Queensland’s renewable energy zones” • The Queensland government has been flooded with expressions of interest for its planned renewable energy zones, with enough projects put forward to create 60 GW of clean energy in the Australian state. Potential investors have proposed 192 projects in the zones. [PV-Tech]

Solar array (University of Queensland. image)

¶ “Finland Shuts Down Nuclear Reactor After ‘Severe Abnormal Disturbance’” • A nuclear reactor was shut down after a severe abnormal event at the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant with elevated radiation levels inside the unit, but no radioactive release in the environment, the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority said. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ “Proterra Opens Next-Gen EV Battery Facility in Los Angeles, California” • Proterra recently sold its 1,000th electric bus in the United States. Demand for Proterra’s electric buses is growing strongly, and that has led to a new battery production line inside the company’s electric bus factory in Los Angeles County, California. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra bus (Proterra image)

¶ “Department of Energy Announces $60 Million to Accelerate Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research” • The US DOE has announced up to $60 million in new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies research. This funding supports research that will lead to more affordable, efficient, and secure energy for transportation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York Power Authority’s Plan For 70% Renewable Energy By 2030 Approved” • A new strategic plan putting the New York Power Authority on the path to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035 – five years earlier than the target set out in the US state’s policy goals – has been approved by the state public power organisation’s Board of Trustees. [PV-Tech]

NYPA battery storage system (Image: NYPA)

¶ “Charlotte Chosen As Location For Arrival Headquarters In US” • Arrival, the UK based electric bus and truck startup, has chosen Charlotte, North Carolina as the site for its US headquarters. The company said in a press release this week that it will add 150 employees and invest $3 million to establish a corporate outpost in America. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cruise Rolling Out Fully Driverless Vehicles In San Francisco” • If you’ve ever driven in San Francisco, you know that it is a bit wild. It’s hard for me to imagine a self-driving car handling itself well on those streets, but apparently, Cruise is ready. Cruise is beginning to roll out fully self-driving vehicles – with no drivers at all – in San Francisco. [CleanTechnica]

Have a preternaturally pleasant day.

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December 10 Energy News

December 10, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Growing Climate Threat: Liquefied Natural Gas Exports” • If we increase overseas exports of liquefied natural gas, far from creating the climate-friendly replacement for dirtier fossil fuels touted by the gas industry, we will be making it more difficult for both the US and the importing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [CleanTechnica]

LNG carrier (Martian-2008, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “A 9 Year Old Died From Asthma – Her Death Was Most Likely Caused By Air Pollution” • The story of a young girl in London, Ella Kissi-Debrah, who was nine years old when she died, is one of heartbreak. She died in 2013 from asthma. Years later, in 2018, a report found that unlawful levels of pollution likely contributed to Kissi-Debrah’s death. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Rambo Root’ Could Help With Climate Action, Peace Building, And Environmental Issues” • The low-cost root crop cassava, called ‘Rambo root’ for its rugged appearance and resilient attributes, produces the highest amount of calories per hectare in most tropical countries. It can withstand increasing temperatures and thrives in poor soils. [EurekAlert]

Harvesting cassava (International Center for Tropical Agriculture)

World:

¶ “Vestas Backs Pioneering Green Ammonia Plant” • Vestas is backing the development of the what could be the world’s first commercial-scale green ammonia plant. With the potential to be operating as soon as 2022, the 10 MW project will be located in Western Jutland, Denmark, and will produce over 5,000 tons of green ammonia annually. [reNEWS]

¶ “Toyota Says It May Finally Be Ready To Make An Electric Car” • Toyota, which is heavily committed to hybrid and fuel cell technology, announced that it has developed a flexible, scalable chassis for electric vehicles. The company will take the wraps off an all new electric SUV destined for European customers in a few months. [CleanTechnica]

Toyota electric SUV (Image courtesy of Toyota)

¶ “Japan Aims To Boost Government Use Of Renewable Power” • The Japanese government is planning to boost use of electricity generated from renewable energy sources at ministries and state-owned facilities to 30% in the April 2021-March 2022 fiscal year. The goal is a first step towards achieving the country’s 2050 decarbonization target. [Argus Media]

¶ “Goldwind Wraps Up Stockyard Hill Turbine Installation” • Goldwind Australia has completed the installation of all 149 wind turbines at the 530-MW Stockyard Hill wind farm. The project is in Victoria, about 35 km west of Ballarat. Final commissioning and project completion activities will continue into early 2021 at the facility. [reNEWS]

Stockyard Hill wind farm (Goldwind image)

¶ “NB Power Provides Mixed Messages On Future Of Nuclear Power In Province” • In New Brunswick, NB Power may talking the economic potential of small modular nuclear reactors, but it is not ready to start banking on their electricity just yet. NB Power’s new 20-year forecast of where it plans to get its power does not include SMRs. [CBC.ca]

¶ “Oz Minerals’ West Musgrave Project Set To Become ‘One Of The Largest Fully Off-Grid Renewable Powered Mines In The World’” • Copper miner Oz Minerals had been considering a 55-MW hybrid diesel-solar-wind system for a mine in Western Australia. Now, it says it is committed to developing a roadmap to 100% renewable energy. [pv magazine Australia]

West Musgrave (Cassini Resources image)

US:

¶ “Falling Sales, Job Losses And Bankruptcies: Pain Spreads Across Coal Country” • President Donald Trump promised he would save the US coal industry. But as his tenure winds down, the industry is plagued by falling demand, bankruptcies and job losses. It has lost 8,000 jobs, or 15% of its workforce, over the last 12 months. [CNN]

¶ “Nestlé Invests In Taygete I Solar Project” • Nestlé announced it is investing in Taygete I, a 2,000-acre solar project owned and developed by 7X Energy in Pecos County, Texas. This is Nestle’s largest direct investment (by capacity) in a renewable energy project to date. The solar project will produce 250 MW (AC) of electricity. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Flowers and solar panels (Nestlé image)

¶ “City-Led Clean Infrastructure For A Stronger America” • The Rocky Mountain Institute and Bloomberg Philanthropies have released an analysis for how cities can help America recover from the COVID-19 pandemic while building American infrastructure for the future, so they can advance climate, clean energy, equity, and resilience goals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “We Learned A LOT About The Aptera Today” • Aptera hosted an online Q&A session, in which it covered a variety of topics about its new electric vehicle, amplifying the announcements it made a few days ago with a lot more information. It also has provided 9.5 minute video giving us some much better views of the vehicle.  [CleanTechnica]

Aptera (Chris Anthony, CEO, Aptera Motors Corp, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Amazon Takes Renewables Offtake To 6.5 GW” • Amazon says it is now the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, with the addition of 26 new utility-scale wind and solar projects around the world. Amazon’s renewables offtake deals now cover 6.5 GW of clean electricity production capacity, with 127 wind and solar projects in total. [reNEWS]

¶ “Dominion Energy And Smithfield Foods Complete First-Of-Its-Kind Renewable Natural Gas Project In Utah” • Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods, Inc, announced completion of the first renewable natural gas project of their joint venture. Located in Utah, the project is now producing RNG from waste from 26 family farms. [WFMZ Allentown]

Have an outrageously enjoyable day.

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December 9 Energy News

December 9, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Ohi Ruling Could Signal Trouble Ahead For Nuclear Reactor Restart Plans” • The Ohi case is unique because it’s the first time a court has specifically ruled against the central government over the way it operates its screening process for nuclear reactor safety and over the nature of its earthquake safety standards, adapted after Fukushima. [The Japan Times]

Ohi nuclear power plant (Yoshihide Fujitani, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Arctic Is Getting Hotter, Greener And Less Icy Much Faster Than Expected, Report Finds” • NOAA’s annual Arctic Report Card says today’s Arctic is much hotter, greener and less icy than it was even just 15 years ago, when its first report in the series came out. The region is warming rapidly, far faster than scientists’ expectations. [CNN]

¶ “QuantumScape Releases Performance Data On Its Solid-State Battery Technology” • For almost a decade, QuantumScape, based in San Jose, California, has been working to perfect the solid-state lithium battery, replacing the electrolyte with a thin strip of metal. Now, QuantumScape has released performance data for its lithium metal battery. [CleanTechnica]

QuantumScape battery (QuantumScape image, screenshot)

¶ “Micromobility: Major Study Shows Electric Bikes Are Good For Health” • Some cyclists think electric bicycles are for lazy people and others think that they are unsafe. But that’s not what the evidence shows. A review of the literature on electric bicycles found evidence from studies that they are better for health than non-cycling alternatives. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Beavers May Help Amphibians Threatened By Climate Change” • The recovery of beavers may have beneficial effects for amphibians because beaver dams can create the unique types of habitats that amphibians need. That finding was reported by four WSU Vancouver scientists in a paper published in the journal Freshwater Biology. [EurekAlert]

World:

¶ “Tesla: German Court Halts Factory Plan Over Snake And Lizard Habitats” • Tesla has been clearing forest land near Berlin for its first European car and battery plant. But opponents argued this will endanger the habitats of lizards and snakes. A court in Frankfurt an der Oder ordered forest clearing to be halted, pending further examinations. [BBC]

¶ “Zero Labs Reveals Universal EV Platform For Classic Car Conversions” • After more than five years in extensive R&D, Zero Labs has unveiled its most disruptive product yet. It’s a fully realized electric vehicle platform, called a skateboard, to turn a classic car, truck, or SUV into a thoroughly modern, thoroughly electric vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

Zero Labs skateboard (Image courtesy of Zero Labs)

¶ “IRENA And AfDB To Scale Up Renewable Energy Investments In Africa” • The International Renewable Energy Agency and the African Development Bank have agreed to support investment in low carbon energy projects jointly. The move is expected to advance Africa’s energy transition, focusing on renewable energy to achieve climate goals. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Italy Announces Special Tariffs For Shared Renewable Energy Generation By Prosumers” • Italy has launched a new incentive program to encourage local generation and sharing of renewable power. Two kinds of prosumers would be the beneficiaries of the incentive program: energy communities and self-consumption collectives. [Mercom India]

Rooftop solar array (BE Solar image)

¶ “Ending UK’s Climate Emissions Is ‘Affordable,’ Say Official Advisers” • The UK Climate Change Committee’s analysis found that the future cost savings from no longer having to buy oil and gas almost offsets the £50 billion-a-year investment needed in low-carbon power, transport and home heating across the next three decades. [The Guardian]

¶ “Irish West Coast ‘Can Become 70-GW Offshore Hub’” • Up to 70 GW of offshore wind could be generated off the west coast of Ireland to make the country a net exporter of power and provide a huge boost to the local supply chain, according to a study. It says the Atlantic Seas have massive untapped potential, mainly for floating windpower. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Nicholas Doherty, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Announces Signing US Blade Recycling Contract With Veolia” • GE Renewable Energy signed a contract with Veolia North America to recycle blades removed from its US-based onshore turbines during upgrades and repowering efforts. Veolia will process the blades for use as a raw material for cement. [Global Banking And Finance Review]

¶ “Oregon Hybrid Project Springs Into Action” • Portland General Electric has started commercial power generation at the Wheatridge hybrid facility in Eastern Oregon, with the 300-MW wind component coming online. The project will also feature 50 MW of solar and 30 MW battery storage, both of which will be operational next year. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Abby Anaday, Unsplash)

¶ “New Initiative In Columbus, Ohio, Is Getting Big Companies To Use More Renewable Energy” • The Columbus Partnership, a business-development coalition that works with Columbus’ city government, announced Smart Columbus Energy, an initiative to aggregate and supply some of the area’s largest businesses with wind and solar energy.  [StateScoop]

¶ “Timken Remains Confident In Expanding Renewables Market” • The Timken Co, which specializes in engineered bearings and power transmission products, says it is allocating more than $75 million in capital investments through early 2022 to increase the company’s renewable energy capabilities across its global footprint. [Solar Industry]

Have an absolutely superb day.

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December 8 Energy News

December 8, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Much Of The 2020 Hurricane Season Can Be Chalked Up To Climate Change – And There’s No Quick Fix” • For those living on the Louisiana coast, the summer ranged from merely anxiety-inducing for some to totally devastating for others. Is this climate change? Is this the new normal? We got answers from some of the top hurricane scientists. [WRKF]

Home in Cameron, Louisiana (Ryan Kellman | NPR)

¶ “UCSD Researchers Devise Low Cost Lithium Ion Battery Recycling Process” • Researchers at the University of California San Diego published a paper in Joule that describes a recycling process for LFP (LiFePO₄) cathodes that uses environmentally friendly ingredients, takes 80% to 90% less energy, and emits about 75% less greenhouse gases. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Cars Could Save California’s Power Grid” • California is doubling down on EVs. Critics say more plug-in cars will strain the power grid. Here’s why they’re wrong. EVs can charge up when demand is low, making use of surplus wind or solar power that might otherwise go unused, and they can unplug when demand peaks. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a Nissan LEAF (Nissan courtesy image)

¶ “Will China Win The Nuclear Fusion Race?” • China’s HL-2M Tokamak reactor uses ultra-powerful magnets to create and fuse hot plasma at a mind-blowing temperature over 150,000,000°C. The tokamak, in Sichuan province, was powered up for the first time last week, as part of a project that China has been working on for almost 15 years now. [OilPrice.com]

World:

¶ “Indian Prime Minister Modi Inaugurates Metro To Help Curb Taj Mahal Pollution” • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a metro project aimed at curbing the impact of air pollution on the Taj Mahal. It is estimated that the project will cost  ₹8,379.62 crore ($1.1 billion; $854.2 million) and take five years to complete. [BBC]

Taj Mahal (Shan Elahi, Unsplash)

¶ “Last Month Was The Hottest November Ever As Europe Had Its Warmest Fall On Record” • The world just experienced its hottest November on record while Europe had its warmest fall, according to an alarming report from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. Sea ice was at the second lowest level ever seen in November. [CNN]

¶ “Hyundai Appears To Be Very Serious About Africa, As Ghana Gets The Hyundai Kona EV” • With tariffs of under 10¢/kWh in the residential space, Ghana, like many other places across Africa, is a great place to drive electric. Hyundai seems to be taking the lead in Africa. It is already making cars in two African countries, and now it is selling them in Ghana. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Kona Electric (Image courtesy of Hyundai)

¶ “Renewable Energy To Cut Emissions, Costs At WA Gold Mine” • Gold Road is contracting APA Group  to construct a gas and solar hybrid microgrid that will enable a planned expansion in plant throughput at its Gruyere gold mine in Western Australia. Plans include a a 13-MW solar farm and 4.4 MW battery storage system by the end of 2021. [Stockhead]

¶ “France Launches 1-GW Normandy Offshore Tender” • France has officially launched its 1-GW fourth round Normandy offshore wind tender. The area up for grabs is located in the waters off the Cotentin Peninsula, with the specific perimeter of the site to be refined during the competitive tender process, according to the Ministry of Ecological Transition. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Image: Iberdrola)

¶ “Hydrogen Power: Firms Join Forces In Bid To Lower Costs” • The world’s biggest “green” hydrogen developers have joined forces in what they call the Green Hydrogen Catapult. Their goal is to expand production 50-fold in less than six years to drive down costs. The companies include Iberdrola, Ørsted, and a number of others. [BBC News]

US:

¶ “Washington Post And New York Times: EPA Declines To Adopt Stricter Regulations On Soot” • The EPA has declined to adopt stricter regulations on particle matter pollution, going against the recommendation of its own scientists to implement tougher standards, according to reports in The Washington Post and The New York Times. [CNN]

Pollution (Ella Ivanescu, Unsplash)

¶ “Decarbonize, But Pay Your Fair Share, Says Bill McKibben” • In a recent New Yorker editorial, Bill McKibben brings to light a new report that attaches numbers to the often “airy moral terms” associated with meeting climate goals. The report, an effort to quantify the US Climate Fair Share, was conducted by the US Climate Action Network. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “McDonald’s Inks 326-MW Wind PPA Double” • US renewables developer Apex Clean Energy signed two wind power purchase agreements totaling 326 MW with McDonald’s. McDonald’s will purchase 200 MW from Caddo wind farm, in Caddo County, Oklahoma, and 126 MW from Lincoln Land wind farm, in Morgan County, Illinois. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Apex Clean Energy image)

¶ “Southern California Edison Inks Another Massive Round Of Utility-Scale Battery Contracts” • Six months after inking California’s largest single energy storage procurement, utility Southern California Edison has added another three massive utility-scale battery projects. The contracts include 585 MW of lithium-ion batteries. [Greentech Media]

¶ “NuGen Capital Announces Largest Single Rooftop Solar Project In Rhode Island” • NuGen Capital Management, LLC starts construction of a 6.76-MW (DC) rooftop solar power system in the company’s home state of Rhode Island. The project, which is expected in early 2021, is the largest rooftop array in Rhode Island. [EnerCom Inc]

Have a mind-bogglingly beautiful  day.

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December 7 Energy News

December 7, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Happy Birthday To The Arctic Refuge” • Sixty years ago, on December 6, 1960, Public Land Order 2214 established a National Arctic Wildlife Range. Before that, business and environmental interests had feuded over the region since the late 1920s, as military and business leaders wanted to open the land for oil and gas exploration. And now … [CleanTechnica]

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Hillebrand | USFWS)

¶ “Happy Talk Vs Hard Truth – Why Fossil Fuel Production Cuts Are So Not Happening” • To stave off disaster, we must reduce fossil fuel use by 6% a year, starting now. But even the most aggressive plans call for a reduction less than half that amount, and powerful interests, many funded by fossil fuels, are doggedly fighting even those efforts. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Offshore Wind Turbine Switcheroo Outsmarts The Smarty Pants” • The US offshore wind industry took a beating from recalcitrant state governors during the Obama years, and then the Trump administration delayed a decision on the Vineyard Wind permit. Nevertheless, it looks like wind power will get the last laugh. [CleanTechnica]

GE turbine for offshore windpower (Photo courtesy of GE)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Beer And Crisps Used To Help Tackle Climate Change” • UK crisps firm Walkers adopted technology it says will reduce CO₂ emissions from making its crisps by 70%. It captures CO₂ from beer fermentation and mixes it with potato waste, turning it into fertilizer. Creating fertiliser normally produces a lot of CO₂, but Walkers’ process doesn’t. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Climate Change Threatens ‘Most Alps Glaciers'” • Up to 92% of glaciers in the Alps could be lost by the end of the century due to climate change, say researchers from Aberystwyth University. The university’s research covers the entire European Alps region and is based on 200 years of climate records and forecasts that cover 1901 to 2100. [BBC]

Alps without snow (Image: Aberystwyth University)

¶ “41.5 Gigawatt Hybrid Wind And Solar Power Park Planned In India” • The news out of India concerning wind and solar power has been bipolar, to say the least. India has set an ambitious target of 175 GW of new wind and solar power to be completed by 2022. But India certainly has not been meeting that goal on a linear timeline. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK’s First Electric-Only Car Charging Station Opens For Business” • The UK’s first all-electric car charging station has opened, marking a milestone in the country’s transition away from fossil fuels. The station is operated by Gridserve, and is the first of more than 100 locations the company plans to build over the next five years. [The Verge]

Electric-only car charging station (Gridserve image)

¶ “MHI Vestas Rolls Out 500th Nacelle At Lindo” • MHI Vestas produced the 500th nacelle for its V164 turbine line at its Lindo facility in Denmark. The company said the unit has been rolled out of the factory in preparation for installation in UK waters in 2021. The MHI Vestas Lindo facility has been producing V164 nacelles since 2014. [reNEWS]

¶ “Warning Over Irish 2030 Climate Targets” • The Irish Wind Energy Association has warned that more action is needed over the next two years if Ireland is to reach its 2030 climate action targets. The organisation published a report showing how the Programme for Government’s target of 5-GW of offshore wind energy can be met. [reNEWS]

Irish offshore wind farm (NREL image)

¶ “Questions Abound About New Brunswick’s Embrace Of Small Nuclear Reactors” • Mike Holland is New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative minister of energy development talks a lot, and when he talks about small modular nuclear reactors, he sees dollar signs. When the Green Party hears about them, they see danger signs. [Yahoo News Canada]

¶ “Siemens Energy To Deliver Uniper Grid Services” • Uniper has appointed Siemens Energy to deliver rotating grid stabilization technology that will provide inertia services to system operator National Grid ESO. Siemens Energy will install and commission synchronous condenser units at two facilities in Killingholme, Lincolnshire and Grain, Kent. [reNEWS]

Synchronous condenser unit (Image: Siemens Energy)

US:

¶ “Solar Jobs, Solar Installations, And Homes Powered by Solar in Top 10 US Solar States” • Here is a look at the numbers of solar jobs, solar installations, homes in the state solar powers, and percent of the state’s electricity coming from solar for the top ten states in terms of solar power per capita. Two of the top ten states are in New England. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massive 853-Foot-Tall Wind Turbines Are Coming To The East Coast” • The Vineyard Wind 1 project’s colossal Haliade-X turbines are the world’s largest and most powerful. They will stand 853 ft (260 m) high, as tall as an 85-story building, with a 722-foot (220 m) rotor. Because of their size, they capture 45% more energy than other turbines. [New Atlas]

GE Haliade-X turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Central Hudson Expands Its Distributed Energy Resource Capabilities” • Alternative energy powers innovation at Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation. Homes with rooftop solar panels and expansive, commercial solar farms are important in the utility’s 2,600 square-mile service area north of New York City, along the Hudson River. [Utility Dive]

¶ “FBI Raid Brings Scrutiny On Obscure But Powerful Ohio Energy Regulator” • Ohio GovMike DeWine is considering a replacement for the state’s most powerful utility regulator, Sam Randazzo. Randazzo has been accused of receiving a $4 million payment from FirstEnergy, which was looking for support for a nuclear power plant. [cleveland.com]

Have an enlighteningly gorgeous day.

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December 6 Energy News

December 6, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Court Ruling Reveals Failure Of Japan Nuclear Regulator’s Inspection Regime” • When the NRA drew up new nuclear plant safety standards for resuming reactor operations, the agency’s head boasted that they were the “toughest in the world.” But the Osaka District Court ruled that the agency failed to uphold those tough standards. [The Mainichi]

Ohi Nuclear Power Plant (Greg Webb, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Re-powering – It’s The New, New Thing For Existing Wind Farms” • Wind turbines today can generate quite a bit more electricity than they could a decade ago. The pylon that supports them really doesn’t care what kind of machinery is on top of it. Take down the old, put up the new, and enjoy the advantages of the most modern technology. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Three Simple Steps To Boost Soil Health And Help Tackle Climate Change” • The British Society of Soil Science, based at Cranfield University, is promoting three simple steps to boost the health of the nation’s soils and help fight climate change: remove pavers, use cover crops so the soil is not bare, and don’t use peat-based compost. [Cranfield and Marston Vale Chronicle]

Sprouting plants (Francesco Gallarotti, Unsplash)

¶ “Cost Analysis Explores Offshore Wind Power’s US Market Viability And Risk” • The National Wind Technology Center at the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has tools and modeling expertise to weigh offshore wind costs, revenues, and risks within the broader context of technical, regulatory, legal, tax, and policy issues. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mitigating Climate Change And Extreme Heat With Reflective Pavements” • Reflective pavements provide a strategy that can help solve the problem of urban heat islands. It is currently practiced in a few cities, such as Los Angeles, by implementing reflective coatings or brighter-color materials in the pavement mixtures. [SciTechDaily]

Light colored pavement (Jaysin Trevino, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “400,000+ Solar Co-Owners In Giant Community Solar Park Initiative In Denmark And Poland” • A giant community solar park initiative will make over 400,000 Danes co-owners in solar parks in Denmark and Poland. The initiative will be the largest solar investment in Denmark’s history, totaling around DKK 4 billion ($651.5 million). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Denmark Announces An End To Oil And Gas Exploration In North Sea” • A report from the Washington Post says the Danish Parliament voted to end offshore gas and oil extraction, which had started in 1972 and made the country the largest producer in the EU. The Danish government says it is “now putting an end to the fossil fuel era.” [CleanTechnica]

North Sea oil platform (Erik Christensen, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “UK Urged To Follow Denmark In Ending North Sea Oil And Gas Exploration” • Boris Johnson announced last week that the UK would take a lead on fighting climate change by cutting CO₂ emissions 68% by 2030. But he is being criticized because the UK has not announced plans to end exploration in the North Sea for new gas and oil fields. [The Guardian]

¶ “The Negev Is Key To Our Renewable Energy Future” • The Finance and Energy ministries, the Israel Land Authority, and the Public Utilities Authority announced that Dimona, a small city in the Negev Desert has been chosen to house the nation’s largest single-output solar plant. The desert sun could supply 90% of Israel’s electricity. [The Jerusalem Post]

Negev Desert solar system (David Shankbone, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “Solar energy saved Vermont $17 million in 2019” • From 2014 to 2019, small-scale solar in New England saved utilities and their customers more than $1.1 billion in wholesale power costs. These savings were enjoyed not only by people with solar, but everyone with an electric bill. Vermont saved $17 million in 2019 and $79 million since 2014. [Vermont Biz]

¶ “New Poll: Majority of Americans Would Change Where They Shop to Support Cleaner Ships” • A poll conducted for Pacific Environment by Yale University, George Mason University, and Climate Nexus finds that 74% of American voters would be more likely to shop at companies that use cleaner ways to ship their goods. [CleanTechnica]

Container ship (Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash)

¶ “Some Cadillac Dealers Chose To Close Rather Than Sell EV” • The Wall Street Journal reports that about 150 out of Cadillac’s 880 dealers chose to stop selling the brand’s cars to avoid getting into EV sales. The costs for dealer upgrades may have been the deciding factor for the dealers closing, but the dealers remaining have obstacles to electrification. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “City Of Boulder To Explore How Electric Vehicles Can Reduce Building Energy Costs” • In Colorado, the City of Boulder is partnering with Fermata Energy to test a way to reduce the city’s energy costs with an innovative pilot at the North Boulder Recreation Center. They will test a two-way charging station at the building. [CleanTechnica]

Have a superbly agreeable day.

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December 5 Energy News

December 5, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “UK Aim Of 68% Emissions Cut A ‘Colossal Challenge” • To meet the UK’s climate change target to cut emissions by 68% by 2030 based on 1990 levels will be a “colossal challenge”, the National Audit Office warned. It says the cost of cutting CO₂ is uncertain, but the cost of letting temperatures rise would probably be greater. [BBC]

Wind Turbine on Beinn Bhreac (Sarah McGuire, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “This Loophole In New Mexico’s Methane Rules Is A Gift To Big Oil And Gas” • The goal of New Mexico’s new methane rules is to push the oil and gas producers to reduce their methane emissions 98% by 2026. But an Environmental Defense Fund analysis concludes that the rules, as written, would exempt 95% of the state’s oil and gas wells. [DeSmog]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Aptera Announces First ‘Never Charge’ Electric Vehicle” • Aptera announced a solar electric vehicle that will not need to be plugged in for most regular uses, and has a 1,000 mile range on a full charge. “Our built-in solar array keeps your battery pack topped off and anywhere you want to go, you just go,” says co-founder Chris Anthony. [CleanTechnica]

Aptera soaking up the sun (Image provided by Aptera)

¶ “Hybrid Technology Trial Aims For Smooth Integration Of Renewable Energy” • A new hybrid system will inject or absorb energy from the transmission network to maintain voltage levels as renewable power levels fluctuate. A year-long trial is under way at Hitachi ABB Power Grids. The technology could help in the transition to renewables. [Professional Engineering]

World:

¶ “Gayam Motor Works And Sokowatch Launch East Africa’s First Commercial Electric Tuk-Tuks” • B2B startup Sokowatch has partnered with Indian electric tuk-tuk manufacturer Gayam Motor Works on a first in Africa, in the commercial electric tuk-tuk sector for hyperlocal deliveries. The service offers much more than just deliveries. [CleanTechnica]

Tuk-tuks all set to go (Image courtesy of Gayam Motor Works)

¶ “Eni To Speed Up Renewables Drive With Development, M&A” • Italy’s Eni will expand its renewable energy in Europe, the US, and the Pacific by developing its own projects and making small acquisitions, the group’s clean energy head said. Eni’s current renewable energy capacity of only 350 MW, but it has pledged to reach 15 GW by 2030. [Reuters India]

¶ “Vestas Strikes 42-MW Finnish Deal” • Vestas has won a 42-MW turbine order for the Langnabba wind farm in Finland from Vind AX. The project will be located on the Aland Islands in the Baltic Sea between the Finnish and Swedish mainland and will feature 10 V136-4.2MW machines. Commissioning is planned for the first quarter of 2022. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Uzbekistan Hatches Ambitious Renewable Energy Growth Plans” • Gas-rich Uzbekistan has hiked its near-term targets for domestic renewable energy growth, with a plan to boost solar power capacity to 5 GW and wind and hydropower also in the mix. Two major commercial solar plants are expected to come online as early as next year. [Upstream Online]

US:

¶ “Mississippi Power Smart Neighborhood Will Feature Tesla Solar Roof And Powerwall” • Mississippi Power announced plans to build a so-called smart neighborhood in Lauderdale County. The community will be the first in the world to feature a Tesla Solar Roof and a Tesla Powerwall residential storage battery for every home. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Solar Roof and Tesla Powerwall (Tesla image)

¶ California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Is Accelerating Transportation Electrification”” • California utilities launched a statewide point-of-sale EV rebate program worth up to $1,500 per vehicle. These incentives are different than past state and local efforts because they are funded by producers of carbon-intensive fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Breaking News! Oakland And Seattle Ban Natural Gas as Cities Continue to Lead on Electrification” • In mid November, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted to ban natural gas in new buildings. On December 2, Oakland’s city council did the same. Now, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a proposal do the same thing there. [CleanTechnica]

California cities banning natural gas (Image courtesy of PAE Engineers)

¶ “Renewable Energy Incentives Run Out In Central And Southern Illinois” • The Illinois Power Agency announced the close of state renewable energy incentives for residents in central and southern Illinois. Funding is also expected to disappear in northern Illinois in coming days, ending Illinois’ renewable energy program. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Ambitious Plan To Reduce CO₂ Emissions Still Leaves Tri-State Getting 23% Of Electricity From Coal Plants” • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association proposed a $21 billion plan to wean itself from a heavy reliance on coal-fired power and move to renewable energy. The plan would have it get 23% of its power from coal in 2030. [The Colorado Sun]

Have a simply glorious day.

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December 4 Energy News

December 4, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Slow And Steady Won’t Win the Climate Race” • Climate-related emergencies over the last two years have made it clear: the time for ambitious climate action in the US and abroad is now. NRDC’s Eighth Annual Energy Report digs into US energy trends over the last two years to understand what it all means for the worsening climate crisis. [CleanTechnica]

Microburst (NOAA image, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “2020 Might Be 3rd Hottest Year On Record” • This year is on track to be one of the three hottest on record, completing a run of six years that were all hotter than any year ever measured before, the World Meteorological Organization said. And the CO₂ levels in the atmosphere will fuel temperature rise for decades to come. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “This Company Is Using Drones To Replant Forests Devastated By Wildfires” • The US has had its most devastating wildfire season on record, with more than 8 million acres of land burned across the country this year. Replanting forests normally takes human labor over years. Seattle-based DroneSeed can replant them much faster with drones. [CNN]

Eight-foot planting drones (Image courtesy of DroneSeed)

¶ “Hard Sails And Green Hydrogen For The Cargo Ships Of The Future” • Cargo ships are notoriously bad polluters. It is vitally important that the industry move away from dirty old bunker fuel to clean power. The solution for how to do this may lie in a return to the old ways of wind power, with a new high-tech assist from green hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “How Ireland Is Abandoning Its Dirty Fuel” • Peat has been an important fuel for Ireland, providing the island nation with some energy self-sufficiency. Recently, its uses have expanded and its culture has become commercial. Energy from peat releases more CO₂ than coal, and using peat destroys a powerful carbon sink. Now, its use is in fast decline. [BBC]

Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland (William C Watts, Unsplash)

¶ “UK aims to cut emissions by 68% by end of 2030” • The UK will aim to cut its carbon emissions by at least 68% from 1990 levels by the end of 2030, Boris Johnson announced. He said the target would see the UK cutting emissions faster than any major economy so far. But scientists say it doesn’t guarantee dangerous climate change will be avoided. [BBC News]

¶ “Norway In November: EV Market Share At 80%, Fossils Disappearing” • Norway saw its plugin vehicle market share standing at 80% in November 2020, up from 60% in November 2019. Old school non-hybrid fossil vehicles saw their share fall to just 10.5%, from 27.1% a year ago. The overall auto market volume was up 25% year-on-year. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.3 (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Signs First Cypress Order In Spain” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it was selected by Azora to supply 19 Cypress wind turbines for the 100-MW Cuevas de Velasco wind farm in the Cuenca province in Spain. Azora will operate the Cypress turbines at 5.5 MW, the highest rating ever permitted in Spain. [WebWire]

¶ “Goldwind Completes Turbine Job At 312-MW Oz Windfarm” • Goldwind Australia has completed installation of 104 turbines at the 312-MW Moorabool wind farm in the state of Victoria, 25 km south-east of the city of Ballarat. Turbine commissioning and project completion activities are now underway at the project, Goldwind said. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Goldwind image)

¶ “Court Revokes Approval For Japan’s Ohi Nuclear Reactors” • A Japanese court ordered the government to invalidate regulatory approval given to operate the Ohi nuclear power plant, based on earthquake concerns. The decision is seen as a setback to Tokyo’s efforts to restore the country’s nuclear output and meet its goal for emissions reduction. [Argus Media]

¶ “All New Lorries Must Be Emissions-Free In The 2030s If The UK Is To Decarbonize By 2050” • Growing demand for freight transport mean that improving the efficiency of lorries will not be enough to achieve the climate targets, a study by the NGO Transport & Environment shows. Sales of new diesel lorries will need to be phased out in the 2030s. [CleanTechnica]

“How to decarbonise the UK’s freight sector by 2050”
(Publication by Transport & Environment)

US:

¶ “Mobility House Provides Smart Charging Solutions For St. Louis Electric Bus Fleet” • Mobility House has helped operators worldwide manage their electric bus charging needs for over a decade. Now it is teaming with Metro Transit, which serves the greater St. Louis area, to manage charging for one of America’s largest electric bus fleets. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Giant New GE Wind Turbine Can Power A Home For A Day In Just 7 Seconds” • The developers of the Vineyard Wind project off Massachusetts announced that they’ll be using GE Haliade-X wind turbines. That turbine recently got a capacity upgrade, from a world-leading 12 MW to a world-leading-by-even-more 13 MW. [CleanTechnica]

GE Haliade-X wind turbine (Image courtesy of GE Renewables)

¶ “Shuttering Fossil Fuel Power Plants May Cost Less Than Expected” • A generator-level model described in the December 4 issue of the journal Science suggests that most fossil fuel power plants could complete normal lifespans and still close by 2035 because so many of the facilities are nearing the ends of their operational lives. [EurekAlert]

¶ “SCANA Agrees To Settle Fraud Charges In Failed VC Summer Nuclear Plant Project” • SCANA Corp has agreed to settle the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit charging them with defrauding investors with false and misleading statements about a nuclear plant expansion that was ultimately abandoned. SCANA will pay a total of $137.5 million. [WBTW]

Have a transcendentally capital day.

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December 3 Energy News

December 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Trump Polluted Our Air And Water Horribly – How To Get EPA Back On Track” • Joe Biden can make a good start on uniting the country and restoring faith in democracy by setting the US Environmental Protection Agency back on track. Few arms of the government touch all of us more directly or have suffered more harm under Donald Trump. [CleanTechnica]

Power plant (Johannes Plenio, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ditch High Definition And New Tech To Fight Climate Change” • HD video streaming on a phone generates about eight times more in emissions than standard definition, a report from scientists at the UK’s Royal Society says. Platforms and regulators should limit streaming resolution and default to SD, the authors urged. [BBC]

¶ “We’re At A Turning Point On Climate Change. But Most Countries Are Still Choosing Fossil Fuels Over Clean Energy, Report Says” • To limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F), countries need to wind down their fossil fuel production by 6% every year between now and 2030, according to the 2020 Production Gap report. [CNN]

Wind turbines (Mark König, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “First Micromobility Research Fund Launched In UK … By Ford” • Ford has been getting more serious about micromobility. Among other things, it owns Spin, an e-scooter company, and via Spin, it just announced the £100,000 Micromobility Research Fund for independent research in the UK about micromobility policy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Italy’s EV Market Surge Continues – BEVs Triple Again Year On Year” • Italy’s car market consolidated its recovery from the Covid-19 spring lows in October, as sales rebounded to last year’s levels. Meanwhile, the road to electrification continues, with exponential growth trends reaffirmed in the country and across Europe. [CleanTechnica]

Smart EQ For Two

¶ “Sweden’s EV Sales Hit New Record In November – 38.7% Market Share” • Sweden saw plugin electric vehicle sales breaking new ground in November 2020, taking 38.7% share of the passenger auto market. This compares to 14% share in November 2019. Traditional petrol and diesel combustion vehicle sales fell to 37.1% of the market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kosovo To Launch Renewable Energy Auctions, Submit NECP Next Year” • Though its national status is disputed, Kosovo has a series of renewable energy auctions in the works, in cooperation with the EBRD. Its National Energy and Climate Plan is almost finished, and it is preparing an energy strategy and climate change law. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Wind farm (Wilsan u on Unsplash)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa To Launch Wind-Hydrogen Pilot” • Siemens Gamesa is in the final stages of developing a pilot in Denmark to produce green hydrogen directly from wind. The scheme, which the turbine maker said will be up and running by January 2021, includes a 3-MW Siemens Gamesa wind turbine and a 400-kW electrolyser. [reNEWS]

¶ “Renewable Energy Microgrid Trial In Victoria’s North-East Aims To Become Template For Nation” • A $28 million three-year trial in Victoria’s north-east, a prototype Energy Demand and Generation Exchange, is to test a two-way energy system in which residents and businesses can buy and sell locally generated electricity in real time. [ABC News]

Solar system (Totally Renewable Yackandandah image)

¶ “Siemens Energy, Porsche, And Partners Advance E-Fuel Development” • Siemens Energy, Porsche, and other companies, have partnered to develop and implement a pilot project in Chile that is expected to yield the world’s first integrated, commercial, industrial-scale plant for making synthetic climate-neutral fuels (e-fuels). [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Tesla Launching Commercial EV Charging Arm – Focus On Apartments” • Tesla has long supplied Destination Chargers for its EVs to hotels, restaurants, Airbnb units, Tesla stores, and other common destinations. Now, it is doing something new in this arena. It is including an automatic payment system for such places as apartment buildings. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Destination Charger

¶ “The US Just Smashed Its Record For Energy Storage” • The scale-up of storage has been steady, but slow over the last several years. But in the last three months, the US energy storage market has absolutely boomed, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest data, giving renewables a major boost in the fight to displace fossil fuels. [Quartz]

¶ “Major US Offshore Wind Farm Put On Hold” • Vineyard Wind will temporarily withdraw its application for federal approval to erect the first large offshore wind farm in the country. The move is an apparent attempt to pause the Trump administration’s review of the project days before it was scheduled to publish a final analysis. [E&E News]

Illustration of Vinyard Wind (Vinyard Wind image)

¶ “Sound Transit Light Rail Trains Are Now Running On Clean Energy” • Sound Transit’s Link light rail system is now running on 100% carbon-free electricity, making it the first major light rail system in the country to achieve this milestone. It came through an innovative agreement with Puget Sound Energy’s Green Direct program. [The Suburban Times]

¶ “‘Dead-End For Climate’: Coalition Denounces Senate Bill To Fund Nuclear Industry Bailout” • A coalition of over 100 groups told US senators that nuclear power is a false solution to the climate crisis. They urged lawmakers to reject proposed legislation that would put short-sighted economic interests ahead of human lives. [Common Dreams]

Have an unusually frolicsome day.

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December 2 Energy News

December 2, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “When Climate Disaster Strikes, It’s Renewable Energy That Keeps The Lights On” • The lesson of the Fukushima Disaster is painfully obvious: Energy systems need to be resilient to disaster. And this is not just a lesson for Japan; it’s one the rest of the world is starting to learn as we face cascading crises from climate change to Covid-19. [HuffPost]

Refugees in North Carolina (Jo-Anne McArthur, Unsplash)

¶ “On Climate, Biden Must Do More than Undo Trump’s Damage” • After four years of Donald Trump, Joe Biden must now make up for lost time. He has said the US will rejoin the Paris agreement immediately, which is important, but Biden will also have to ratchet up the original US pledge, because global warming has only sped up. [Scientific American]

World:

¶ “Humans Waging ‘Suicidal War’ On Nature – UN Chief Antonio Guterres” • “Our planet is broken,” the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, is to warn at the UN. Humanity is waging what he will describe as a “suicidal” war on the natural world. Mr Guterres wants to put tackling climate change at the heart of the UN’s global mission. [BBC]

António Guterres (Chatham House, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Aston Martin Linked To Study Spreading Misinformation About EVs” • Electric vehicle researcher Auke Hoekstra debunked a study claiming that EVs needed to go 48,000 miles before emitting less CO₂ than fossil fuel vehicles. The same study was linked to Aston Martin by BloombergNEF Founder Michael Liebreich. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Three Big Tesla Achievements in China – Clearly Plenty of Demand” • Tesla is starting the week after the US Thanksgiving holiday with several achievements in China. These achievements are especially notable since they show Tesla is in high demand in the world’s most populous country – the country with the largest car market. [CleanTechnica]

Chinese Tesla ad

¶ “OREAC Launches Roadmap For 1.4 TW Of Offshore Wind By 2050” • The Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition is calling on governments to ramp up their offshore renewable energy ambitions to achieve the coalition’s vision of 1,400 GW of offshore wind by 2050. OREAC published “The Power of Our Ocean” report as a guide. [Offshore WIND]

¶ “LG Chem To Double Battery Cell Production To Meet Tesla Demand” • Reuters reported that South Korea’s LG Chem will double its battery cell production capacity in China to meet Tesla’s needs in that country. LG Chem will invest $500 million over the next year to raise annual production at its Nanjing plant by 8 GWh. [CleanTechnica]

Teslas in Florida (CleanTechnica image)

¶ “Japan Lawmaker Sees Renewables Make Up Nearly Half Of Power Sources By 2030” • Renewable energy is likely to account for close to half of Japan’s mix of power sources in 2030, a senior lawmaker of the ruling party said. There is still some uncertainty over resumption of nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster of 2011. [Reuters]

¶ “In A World First, Cultured Chicken Meat Approved For Sale In Singapore” • The world’s first cell-cultured meat product – bite-sized chicken by California start-up Eat Just – will be available at restaurants in Singapore, now that authorities have ruled it safe for consumption. The cultured chicken bites will be locally produced. [The Straits Times]

Cultured chicken (Image courtesy of Eat Just)

US:

¶ “Exxon Faces $20 Billion Hit From ‘Epic Failure’ Of A Decade Ago” • ExxonMobil’s nightmarish 2020 has just got worse. The energy company announced that it will mark down the value of its natural gas properties by $17 billion to $20 billion. Exxon also promised to scale back its spending ambitions as it braces for a more muted oil price recovery. [CNN]

¶ “Lucid Motors Finishes Factory, On Track To Start Lucid Air Production In Spring 2021” • Lucid Motors has announced completion of the first phase of construction at its Advanced Manufacturing Plant, AMP-1, in Casa Grande, Arizona. Lucid also confirmed the start of production for the Lucid Air is on track for the Spring of 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Lucid SUV

¶ “Roanoke Electric Cooperative To Pilot Cutting-Edge Vehicle-To-Grid Technology” • Roanoke Electric Cooperative is working with Fermata Energy to pilot equipment for the first EV charging system that meets the North American standard for two-way current, as verified by Underwriters Laboratories. It is using the Nissan LEAF for the test. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Southern Power Puts 136-MW Washington Wind Farm Into Operation” • Southern Power announced that the 136-MW Skookumchuck Wind site is now generating electricity from its site in Lewis and Thurston counties, Washington. It is the company’s 12th wind power facility, and the first in the state of Washington. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Skookumchuck wind facility

¶ “Ford Presses Other Manufacturers To Join CARB Emissions Rules Package” • According to Reuters, Ford has sent a letter to Toyota, FCA, and other automakers who are still opposing tougher emissions standards that urges them to get on board with the California standard before Joe Biden takes office in January. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Nuclear Site Cleanup Underfunded By Up To $70 Billion” • The US has collected a bunch of money from operating reactors into a cleanup fund that they acknowledge is underfunded to the tune of billions already. But the industry estimates show that they are collecting less than half of what it will actually take to decommission the sites. [CleanTechnica]

Have an reassuringly empowering day.

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December 1 Energy News

December 1, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Renewable Energy Cows Come Home, Now With Green Ammonia” • The US DOE is a big fan of distributed windpower, generating electricity for on-site use or to supply a local grid. For farmers, that might mean making green ammonia for a value-added system that takes advantage of unused wind power during other low-demand periods. [CleanTechnica]

Local benefit (Photo: US Department of Agriculture)

World:

¶ “Brazil’s Amazon: Deforestation ‘Surges To 12-Year High'” • Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has surged to its highest level since 2008, according to the country’s space agency. From August 2019 to July 2020, a total of 11,088 sq km (4,281 sq miles) of rainforest were destroyed. The figure is a 9.5% increase from the previous year. [BBC]

¶ “Climate Change: Temperature Analysis Shows UN Goals ‘Within Reach'” • The Climate Action Tracker group looked at new climate promises from China and other nations, along with the carbon plans of US President-elect Joe Biden. Its analysis is more optimistic, suggesting the goals of the UN Paris climate agreement are getting “within reach.” [BBC]

Hydrogen-powered train (Image: University of Birmingham)

¶ “Fraser Island, A Unique Australian Ecosystem, Is On Fire” • Firefighters in Australia are battling a massive bushfire that has been burning out of control for six weeks across the popular tourist spot of Fraser Island, as parts of the country’s east swelter through a record-breaking heat wave following the hottest November on record. [CNN]

¶ “Alstom To Supply Italy’s First Six Hydrogen Trains” • Alstom will supply six hydrogen fuel cell trains, with the option for eight more, to FNM (Ferrovie Nord Milano), the main transport and mobility group in the Italian region of Lombardy, for a total amount of approximately €160 million. The first train delivery is expected within 36 months. [CleanTechnica]

Hydrogen powered train (Image courtesy of Alstom)

¶ “Ford To Convert A Cologne Factory For Production Of MEB-Based EVs” • Last July, Ford and Volkswagen entered into an agreement that allows Ford to use VW’s MEB electric car chassis in Ford EVs. Now, Electrive reports that Ford recently selected its factory in Cologne to produce the first Ford branded electric car built on the MEB chassis.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Ocean Renewable Energy ‘Could Reach 10 GW’ By 2030 Buoyed By Island And Coastal Markets” • Ocean energy could grow 20-fold this decade to reach 10 GW of installed capacity, with tidal and wave plants providing mainstream power generation, according to calculations from the International Renewable Energy Agency. [Recharge]

Simec Atlantis AR1500 tidal turbine (Photo: ARC)

¶ “Queensland Budget: Coal And Petroleum Forecasts Labelled ‘Delusional’ As Royalties Dive” • Even though Queensland’s fossil fuel royalties income collapsed by $2 billion, the state’s budget forecasts that coal and petroleum exports will rebound and continue to grow. Energy market analysts say that assumption is “delusional.” [The Guardian]

¶ “Queenslanders Win Half-Billion Stake In The Renewable Revolution” • Queenslanders will own a stake in the renewable revolution with the 2020-21 Budget investing $500 million to support renewable energy projects. The Minister for Energy, Renewables, and Hydrogen said the transition to renewables is in full swing in Queensland. [Mirage News]

Wind farm in Queensland (Lepidlizard, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Renewables Are 20% Of US Electricity Generation In First Three Quarters of 2020” • In the first three quarters of 2020, renewables generated 20.4% of US electricity. That’s a decline from the 22.2% share in the first 6 months of the year, as the economy rebounded a bit and fossil fuels were called on for the increased generation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BU-Supported Wind Farm Now Up And Generating Clean Electricity” • Boston University is now buying clean energy from a South Dakota wind farm the University enabled, fulfilling a key goal of the University’s Climate Action Plan. BU will buy 205,000 MWh of electricity annually for 15 years from the wind farm’s owner, ENGIE North America. [BU Today]

Midwest wind farm (Image: NREL via BU Today)

¶ “Renewables Are 70% Of New US Power Capacity In 2020, Solar Is 43%” • In the first three quarters of 2020, renewable energy – almost entirely solar and wind energy – accounted for 70% of new US power capacity, based on official utility-scale power plant data from FERC and small-scale solar power estimates made by CleanTechnica.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Solar Project Planned For 300 Acres Near Richland” • Energy Northwest and Tucci Energy Services will partner to develop a 300-acre solar project north of Richland, Washington. The projecte will be able to generate enough electricity for more than 11,000 homes, according to a statement released Monday by Energy Northwest. [Seattle Times]

Solar array (Energy Northwest image)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Unveils Cypress 6.0-164 Onshore Wind Turbine” • GE Renewable Energy’s latest wind turbine in Cypress platform increases Annual Energy Production by up to 11% over the company’s 5.3-158. It features a two-piece blade to maintain flexible logistic solutions. The new Cypress model is expected to be in the field by 2022. [REVE]

¶ “Feds Speed Sale The Of A Three Mile Island Unit Amid State Concern About Decommissioning” • The NRC plans to approve the sale of Three Mile Island’s Unit 2, the unit that had a partial meltdown in 1979, despite concerns by state officials over the new owner’s ability to pay to decommission the reactor. The NRC has no plans for a public hearing. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Have an exhilarating cheerful day.

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November 30 Energy News

November 30, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Significance Of The New US Special Presidential Envoy For Climate” • John Kerry’s upcoming position as US special presidential envoy for climate is big news. The “climate czar” is expected to guide the US back into the Paris climate accord and recommit the US to global climate cooperation after four dismal years of the Trump presidency. [CleanTechnica]

John Kerry, 2011 (Al Jazeera English, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “NSW’s Clean Energy Plan Means The Federal Government Is Even More Isolated On Fossil Fuels” • Weeks that pack in as many transformative developments in clean energy in Australia as this one don’t come often. And unlike politics at the federal level, in New South Wales legislation had nearly unanimous parliamentary support. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Power Outage? Extreme Heat? There’s Help In An Energy Efficient Home” • Climate change has exacerbated the frequency, duration, and intensity of weather events and power outages. When we are challenged by energy gaps or weather crises, we find ourselves quickly needing to adapt. An energy efficient home can help with that. [CleanTechnica]

Adapting to heat (Image retrieved from NOAA, public domain)

¶ “Le Chatelier’s Principle Sparks A New Green Ammonia Breakthrough” • Le Chatelier’s principle is behind a new high efficiency process that could pump up the markets for both green ammonia and green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is already a thing, and the US DOE is working on figuring out the ammonia piece of the puzzle. CleanTechnica]

Named storm tracks, 2020 (CNN Weather image)

¶ “Historic 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Comes To A Close” • November 30 officially marks the final day of Atlantic hurricane season, and it has been one for the record books. 2020 has been undoubtedly a crazy year. with Covid-19 and record-breaking wildfires. Nevertheless, the hurricane season stands out, setting a number of records of its own. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Stubble Burning: Why It Continues To Smother North India” • Stubble burning in northern India has long been a major cause of air pollution, but efforts to stop it fail every year. The stubble, left over straw from crops, has to be removed, and the way this has been done has been by burning it in the field. There are many reasons why it continues. [BBC]

¶ “The Ships Powered By ‘Green Hydrogen'” • Ships emit 3% of all greenhouse gases, and emissions are projected to grow by up to 50% by 2050 if the industry continues on a business-as-usual path. Green hydrogen and ammonia derived from it can replace the oil used in ships. And their use in boats, which is now being introduced, can be scaled up. [BBC]

Hydrobingo, powered by hydrogen (CMB image)

¶ “Scottish Homes To Be First In World To Use 100% Green Hydrogen” • Three hundred homes in Scotland will soon be the first in the world to use 100% green hydrogen for heat and to cook their food. They are part of a trial that could help homes across the country replace fossil fuel gas. The households in the test will be in the area of Fife. [The Guardian]

¶ “EU On Track To Meet Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Renewable Energy 2020 Targets” • A report from the European Environment Agency says the EU’s 27 Member States (plus the UK) are making progress towards meeting Europe’s climate and energy targets. The analysis is based on data up to 2019 and EEA estimates for 2020. [European Environment Agency]

Wind turbines (Aniek Wessel, Unsplash)

¶ “Rwanda: Opposition Grows To Russian-Backed Nuclear Plants” • Plans by Rwanda to build nuclear reactors with Russian help are facing stiff opposition in the country. Frank Habineza, a lawmaker and member of the Democratic Green Party, has warned that nuclear energy could do the country more harm than good. [Anadolu Agency]

US:

¶ “Wyoming Gets Its First Electric Bus” • Jackson, Wyoming’s START bus system recently got something new: an electric bus from Proterra. The Proterra 40-foot ZX5 MAX battery-electric transit bus has a 660 kWh battery, which can deliver up to 329 miles of drive range. The system plans on getting at least 7 more of the vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Wyoming’s first electric bus (Image provided by Proterra)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Police Car vs Dodge Charger Police Car – Nearly $7,000 In Savings In One Year” • A Tesla has a higher upfront cost than a typical police car, but do the operational savings make up for that higher upfront cost? Considering how many miles a typical police car drives, my guess would be “yes,” but let’s look at some numbers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Diesel Cheating May Involve Millions Of Pickup Trucks” • An EPA report estimates 557,478 medium and heavy duty trucks have been fitted with emissions defeat devices. The cumulative effect of the extra pollutants coming from their exhaust pipes is estimated to be equal to the emissions from nearly 10 million fully compliant diesel pickups. [CleanTechnica]

Pickup truck (Courtesy of Chevrolet)

¶ “Monolith receives Clean Hydrogen Production funding from MHI” • Monolith Materials, a clean hydrogen and chemical firm, got an investment from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America to support its innovative, emissions-free hydrogen manufacturing technology. Monolith Materials is able to make clean hydrogen commercially from bio-methane. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Hydrogen Is Key To Texas Role In Clean Energy, Depending On Its Color” • Chemists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and some of the biggest names in energy are developing ways to capture hydrogen for use as a back-up for wind and solar plants and as a fuel. The gas also promises to keep Texas at the center of the energy world. [Houston Chronicle]

Have an astonishingly gratifying day.

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November 29 Energy News

November 29, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Republicans Remain Opposed To Any Policies That Would Reduce Fossil-Fuel Use” • For over a decade, the GOP was alone among the world’s major right-of-center parties in its refusal to endorse climate science. But during the Trump era, the major Republican point of agreement shifted to insist on fossil-fuel use as an inherent good. [New York Magazine]

Pollution (Zoya Loonohod, Unsplash)

¶ “Scott Morrison’s Climate Language Has Shifted – But Actions Speak Louder Than Words” • Scott Morrison’s language about Australia adopting a of net zero by 2050, and more generally about climate action, is starting to warm up. The recent shift in the prime minister’s language invites two questions: is there a pivot under way, and is the shift real? [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “Sydney Records The Hottest November Night On Record” • Sydney has recorded its hottest November night on record, with a minimum overnight temperature of 25.4°C (77.7°F). Daytime temperatures of 40°C (104°F) are expected. The New South Wales Fire Service issued a fire ban for parts of the state, as firefighters battle dozens of wildfires. [BBC]

Manly Beach, Sydney, in cooler weather (Adrian Rem, Unsplash)

¶ “The Pandemic Is Shifting Urban Transport To Micromobility” • Data published in an article at The Economist show that urban commuters are shifting from public transit to alternatives. While cars are on the rise, other factors are steering commuters to use electric scooters and bicycles. And where Covid-19 cases fell, the decreased transit use has persisted. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electrify Canada Expands Into Alberta” • Electrify Canada, which is a partner of Electrify America as well as Volkswagen Group Canada, is spreading ultrafast EV charging stations across Canada. Now it has expanded to Alberta. Its first Alberta charging station is in Canmore, but an ultrafast charging station is coming to Calgary soon. [CleanTechnica]

Canmore, Alberta (Jack Borno, CC, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Largest Train Station In Asia Gets Solar Roof” • The Xiongan Railway Station is a new train station in China that is the largest in Asia, covering 680,000 square meters. It’s 2020, so, naturally, the train station is covered in solar panels – 6 MW of them. The solar system is expected to create 5.8 GWh of electricity per year for the train station. [CleanTechnica]

GE Halide X wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy Image)

¶ “Dogger Bank, World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm, Will Use 190 GE Haliade-X Turbines” • Equinor and SSE Renewables announced that they have financing for the first two phases of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, which will be in the North Sea about 160 km east of Yorkshire. The wind farm will be powered by 190 GE Haliade-X 13 MW turbines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Sets 450-GW Capacity Renewable Energy Target For 2030” • The Union Minister of New & Renewable Energy and Power, RK Singh, speaking at a country session of Maldives, said India’s renewable energy target is now 450 GW of capacity by 2030. He emphasized that renewable energy is a must not only for India, but for the world. [ET Now]

¶ “First Chinese-Developed Nuclear Reactor Starts Operations” • China is running its first domestically developed nuclear reactor, Hualong One. Beijing is trying to reduce dependence on foreign sources for energy security and critical technology. Less than 5% of China’s electricity is supplied by nuclear reactors, but the amount is growing. [The Straits Times]

Hualong One (Photo: China National Nuclear Corporation)

¶ “Illegal Coal Trade: CBI Conducts Searches At 45 Locations In Four States” • India’s Central Bureau of Investigation searched 45 locations in four States in connection with the illegal mining and theft of coal from Kunustoria and Majora collieries in West Bengal. The CBI move is said to be a part of the crackdown on the coal mafia in the eastern region. [The Hindu]

US:

¶ “Top 10 States For Renewable Energy, And Their Renewable Energy Splits” • The US Energy Information Administration published a special short profile on New York’s leadership in renewable energy, including how resources were split. The article showed how varied renewable energy resource splits are among the different top states. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy resources in top states (EIA image)

¶ “US DOE Grants $3.6 Million To Portland Firm To Develop Renewable Tidal Power System” • Ocean Renewable Power Company of Portland has received $3,676,997 in funding from the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. ORPC will use this funding to propose a novel energy system for tidal and riverine currents. [PenBayPilot.com]

¶ “In Georgia, 16 Superfund Sites Are Threatened By Extreme Weather Linked To Climate Change” • An investigation into the impact of climate change on 945 vulnerable Superfund sites by InsideClimate News, NBC News and The Texas Observer found that 16 Superfund sites in Georgia were subject to increased flooding with climate change. [InsideClimate News]

Have a totally dreamy day.

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November 28 Energy News

November 28, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Replacing A Coal Plant Takes An Infinite Number Of Wind Turbines” • No number of wind turbines would be sufficient to replace everything a coal plant gives us. To replace one coal plant’s electricity, only 120 to 350 modern wind turbines would do, but coal gives us a lot that wind does not. For instance, we get CO₂. And particulates. [CleanTechnica]

Decline of coal (Image courtesy of EIA)

¶ “Joe Biden’s Climate Plan Can Extract USA From Fossil Fuel Use” • After four years of undermining climate science, the US will have an administration more committed to addressing climate change than any before. Rapid implementation of policies in three overarching areas may present a starting point for rapid action. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Polar Scientists Wary Of Impending Satellite Gap” • There will be a gap of several years in our ability to measure the thickness of ice in polar regions, scientists warn. The only two satellites dedicated to observing the poles are almost certain to die before replacements are flown, leaving us blind to important changes in the Arctic and the Antarctic. [BBC]

One alternative to satellites for altimetry (NASA image)

¶ “An Unusual Snack For Cows, A Powerful Fix For Climate” • Asparagopsis seaweed doesn’t seem like much, but it could practically neutralize one of the most stubborn sources of the greenhouse gas methane. Emissions come from the digestive processes of some livestock, including the planet’s 1.5 billion cows, which burp the gas. [Seattle Times]

¶ “Audi Formula E Drivetrain Is 95% Efficient” • Formula E racing puts a premium on efficiency. Ahead of the start of the Formula E season in Santiago next January, Audi announced that its new MGU05 motor/transmission package, developed by Audi Sport and Schaeffler, converts 95% of the energy stored in the battery into forward motion. [CleanTechnica]

Audi Formula E car (Audi image)

World:

¶ “Sony ‘Could Shift Factories Out Of Japan’ Over Renewable Energy Drought” • Sony warned Japan’s government it could move manufacturing abroad over difficulties sourcing renewable energy for its operations. Chief executives from Sony and other major Japanese companies have demanded reforms to make renewable power procurement easier. [Recharge]

¶ “Vestas Secures New Wind Order In Poland” • Vestas secured a 40-MW order for the Nowy Tomysl project from a subsidiary of developer PNE AG, in western Poland. The project will consist of twelve V126-3.45 MW wind turbines in 3.3 MW operating mode. Vestas has installed about 2.4 GW of wind turbines in the country so far. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “BP investing in Middle East oil while pledging a renewables shift – A double standard?” • BP said it will invest more money in Middle Eastern oil and natural-gas fields even as it transitions to renewable energy and tries to lower emissions. BP is targeting a 40% decline in hydrocarbon production by 2030 and will not explore for crude in new countries. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “India Aims For 220 GW Of Renewables By 2022” • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country aims to increase its renewables capacity to 220 GW by 2022, up from a previous goal of 175 GW. Modi said in a speech at that India currently has 136 GW of clean power installed, representing about 36% of the country’s total generation. [reNEWS]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Image: Government of India)

¶ “Chile’s National Energy Commission Will Tender For 2,310 GWh Of Renewables And Energy Storage” • Chilean authorities announced plans for an auction next year to procure 2,310 GWh of renewable power from generation and storage. Projects must start delivering power from 2026 and sign up to 15-year power purchase agreements. [Energy Storage News]

¶ “Ørsted Team Eyes First Green Hydrogen Ferry” • Ørsted is part of partnership including shipping company DFDS that has applied for EU support for development of a ferry powered by green hydrogen created by offshore wind. The ferry would cover DFDS’ Oslo-Frederikshavn-Copenhagen route initially. It would be powered by a 23-MW fuel cell system. [reNEWS]

Green hydrogen ferry (DFDS image)

¶ “Nuclear Power Isn’t The Answer To Nunavut’s Energy Problems, Expert Says” • Despite growing interest from the federal government and nuclear proponents, the Canadian Environmental Law Association has warned that the safety implications of small modular reactors may outweigh the environmental payoff. [CTV News]

US:

¶ “Forging The Path For Renewable Energy In Utah: Drilling Begins On Geothermal Well In Milford” • The Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy is drilling a geothermal well in Milford. The well is to test technologies and tools for the future creation of more geothermal resources where there are presently none. [St George News]

Geothermal plant (ThinkGeoEnergy, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Tesla Is Sixth Most Valuable Company In The US On Stock Market” • Tesla, with its focus on sustainability and renewables, is the 6th most valuable American company on US stock markets. Tesla overtook Berkshire Hathaway, as its market cap reached $555.24 billion. It only trails Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Manchin Among Senators Urge Mine Safety Agency To Do More To Protect Coal Miners From Silica Exposure” • Senator Joe Manchin, D-WVa, was one of five senators, all Democrats, to urge the Mine Safety and Health Administration to do more to protect coal miners from a potential carcinogen and contributing cause of black lung disease. [Charleston Gazette-Mail]

Have fascinatingly easy day.

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November 27 Energy News

November 27, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Solar Discs That Could Beam Power From Space” • Now scientists are working on a concept of giant solar power stations in space that beam energy to Earth. The European Space Agency has realized the potential of these efforts and is looking to fund them. It is predicting that the first industrial resource we will get from space is “beamed power.” [BBC]

Solar system in space (NASA image)

¶ “World Suddenly Goes Nuts Over Green Ammonia, Now That Green Hydrogen Is Old Hat” • Green hydrogen is still clawing its way into the mainstream and here comes yet another powerful new decarbonization trend: green ammonia. Green ammonia was a big mystery just two years ago and now all of a sudden it’s the Next Big Thing. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Solaris Delivered 242 Urbino Electric Buses In 2020’s First 3 Quarters” • Solaris sold 242 electric buses in the first 3 quarters of the year, nearly a quarter of all the electric buses sold in Europe. Those 242 Solaris Urbino electric buses went to cities in just five countries: France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Poland, where the company is based. [CleanTechnica]

Solaris Urbino 18 bus in Romania (Solaris image)

¶ “EY Ranks India As Most Attractive For Solar PV Investment” • London-headquartered Ernst & Young released the November edition of its biannual Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, which rates the top forty countries. India has topped the list as the most attractive country for investment in the solar PV category. [pv magazine India]

¶ “Daymak Rolls Out Bond-Like Lineup Of Light Electric Vehicles” • The Canadian company Daymak wants to excite the world about light electric vehicles. It launched the Avvenire lineup, six EVs that look like something James Bond would use. With an electric powertrain, the small and light EVs are beyond efficient; they’re hyper-efficient. [CleanTechnica]

Daymak Avvenire Spiritus 3-wheeler (Daymak image)

¶ “Fukushima Reactor One Step Closer To Fuel Removal” • TEPCO has finally secured a 161-ton crane that has been hanging over the fuel storage pool in the Unit 1 reactor building of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. TEPCO plans to install a cover over the whole building before starting the removal of fuel from the pool as early as fiscal 2027. [NHK World]

¶ “Ørsted Completes Borssele 1&2 Commissioning” • Ørsted has fully commissioned the 752-MW Borssele 1&2 offshore wind farm 23 kilometers off the coast of the Netherlands. The project, which features 94 Siemens Gamesa 8-MW turbines installed on monopile foundations, is the company’s first offshore wind farm in the country. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

Australia:

¶ “Vestas Wins 328-MW Australian Double” • Vestas has secured a 328-MW turbine deal for two wind farms in Victoria, Australia, in partnership with Global Power Generation, a subsidiary of the multinational power company Naturgy Group. The turbine order includes supply and installation of 78 V136-4.2MW machines for the two projects combined. [reNEWS]

¶ “Tasmania’s Power Becomes 100% Renewable” • Tasmania has become the first state in Australia to operate on 100% renewable power, the state announced. When the final two turbines of the Granville Harbour wind farm are operating, the state will have 10,741 GWh of renewables generation per year; its average annual demand is for 10,500 GWh. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines in Tasmania (Ian Cochrane, CC-BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

¶ “Renewables Outshine Gas In Race To Replace Liddell” • A report commissioned by Greenpeace Australia Pacific, found that investment aligned with New South Wales’ energy infrastructure roadmap will be cheaper than the Federal Government’s plan to replace the coal-burning Liddell with a natural gas plant. It will also have lower emissions. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Horizon Looks To Future With Green Hydrogen Microgrid” • Western Australian utility Horizon Power will build the nation’s first remote microgrid using renewable hydrogen generation at Denham, in the state’s northwest, having secured the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which awarded $2.6 million in funding. [pv magazine International]

Solar array (Horizon Power image)

US:

¶ “Volkswagen Plans To Start ID.4 Production In Chattanooga, And ID.Buzz In Hanover In 2022” • The Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV is already in production alongside the ID.3 in Zwickau. US customers can reserve one right now online. But the company is also investing about $800 million to add an EV assembly line at its factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Army Corps Denies Permit For Controversial Mine That Threatened Salmon Habitat In Alaska” • After a battle that went on nearly 20 years and cost a Canadian mining company close to a billion dollars, the US Army Corps of Engineers has decided to deny a permit to blast open Pebble Mine near the salmon-rich headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska. [CNN]

Area of the Pebble Mine (Erin McKittrick, CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

¶ “DIY Home Efficiency Project In Kauai Yields Incredible Results” • Using the Technical Reference Manual data from Hawaii Energy, and our calculations of the impacts of products that fall outside the TRM (like clotheslines), the County of Kauai is injecting $4 into its economy for every $1 it spends by saving residents on their utility bills. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Surges Ahead With Its Own Climate Plans” • Salmon stocks the Swinomish Indian tribe has counted on for 10,000 years have declined from an 8-month season to a few days per year, but the Swinomish have not given up. They are working on improving the environment and water quality to re-establish the salmon. [CleanTechnica]

Have a hilariously worthwhile day.

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November 26 Energy News

November 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “One Year After Navajo Generating Station Stopped Burning Coal: A Progress Report” • At the time the agreement was made to close NGS, its owners and Peabody Energy made a slew of promise to the Navajo and Hopi people. A year after the station closed, Navajo Equitable Economy issued a report on what progress has been made. [CleanTechnica]

Report card (Credit: Navajo Equitable Economy)

Science and Technology:

¶ “BMW Founds Robot And Software Company For Logistics Industry” • BMW Group has just launched a new company that is fully focused on becoming “a leading supplier of autonomous robotics solutions in the logistics sector.” The company says the robot’s decision making computer, is “certified to operate in industrial environments.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Peat Study Sets Out Wind Farm Benefits” • A study shows the benefits of wind farms to Scotland’s peatlands. “Wind Power and Peatland: Enhancing Unique Habitats” looks at more than £2.5 million of work by three renewable energy businesses restoring peatland sites. Healthy peatlands remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it. [reNEWS]

Caithness Peatland (david glass, CC BY-SA 2.0)

World:

¶ “Coal India To Diversify Into Solar Power” • Coal India, India’s state-controlled producer, plans to use solar energy to power its mining operations as part of its broader efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. The company aims to set up solar power projects with a combined capacity of 3 GW by the 2023-24 financial year that ends in March 2024. [Argus Media]

¶ “Wuling Mini EV Shines In Hot Chinese Market” • The overall Chinese auto market grew last month, 9% year over year. Plugin vehicles sales, however, grew 120% YoY. Full electrics grew faster (+128%) than plugin hybrids (+93%). And the best selling EV is a city model with four seats and a $4,200 price tag; it is the Wuling HongGuang Mini EV. [CleanTechnica]

Wuling HongGuang Mini EV

¶ “Europe’s Renewable Power Giants Push For EU Hydrogen To Be Green” • Europe’s green power industry groups have formed a lobbying effort to ensure a new wave of hydrogen in the EU is made using power from wind and solar farms. The EU plans to draw as much as €470 billion ($559 billion) toward hydrogen infrastructure in coming decades. [JWN]

¶ “Australia Heading Towards The Tipping Point In The Transition From Fossil Fuels To Renewables” • The Australian Energy Market Operator has released its “Integrated System Plan 2020.” The report shows that under many scenarios, eastern Australia is past the midpoint in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable electricity generation. [Energy Matters]

Burning brown coal

¶ “EStor-Lux Builds Belgium’s Largest Battery Park” • EStor-Lux is constructing Belgium’s largest battery park in Bastogne in a partnership with Centrica Business Solutions. The 10-MW / 20-MWh will function as a virtual power plant, making efficient use of the available supply on the high-voltage grid, balancing supply with demand. [reNEWS]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Collects 130-MW Canadian Contract” • Siemens Gamesa has signed a 130-MW order to supply wind turbines to Berkshire Hathaway Energy Canada’s Rattlesnake Ridge wind power project, near Medicine Hat, Alberta. The 26 SG 5.0-145 wind turbines will be installed at a subsidy free wind farm, one of the first in Canada. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “EU Drafts Deal To Upgrade 2030 Climate Change Target Next Month” • The EU drafted a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, against 1990 levels, a target it hopes its 27 members will endorse at a summit next month, the document showed. The current 2030 target for EU members is a 40% cut in emissions from 1990 levels. [EnerCom Inc]

US:

¶ “Trump’s Last-Ditch Effort to Drill the Alaskan Wilderness” • The Trump administration is making a last-minute push to sell oil rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Firms can now select which swaths of pristine Alaskan wilderness they would like to drill, and they could bid on leases before President Trump leaves office in January. [CleanTechnica]

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Source: US Department of the Interior)

¶ “Cadillac Willing To Pay Dealers To Go Away” • Among the many announcements General Motors made this week is one saying Cadillac would be its first division to transition to selling only EVs. Some of the roughly 850 Cadillac dealers in the US are less than happy with that idea. Now Motor Trend says GM will buy out reluctant dealers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Federal Officials Reject State Petition To Delist Arctic Ringed Seals From Endangered Species Act” • The National Marine Fisheries Service ruled against a petition from the state of Alaska to delist the Arctic ringed seal from the Endangered Species Act. The state had partnered with several North Slope entities to write the petition. [Kotzebue Broadcasting Inc]

Ringed seal (NOAA image)

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E – 230 to 300 Mile Range for $35,395, $39,500, or $42,300 (After Tax Credit)” • The EPA has had a busy week with hot new EVs. Along with the Volkswagen ID.4 getting its range certification, the Ford Mustang Mach-E has received its official driving range on a full charge. The Mustang Mach-E has four different power trains. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “License Transfer Request For Indian Point Approved By NRC” • The NRC approved an application to transfer the licenses for all three units of the Indian Point nuclear plant, from subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation to a Holtec International subsidiary for decommissioning. Unit 3, the last operating reactor at the site, will shut down by April 30, 2021. [Vermont Biz]

Have heartily humorous day.

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