Archive for the 'renewable power' Category

April 5 Energy News

April 5, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “ARIES: Advanced Research On Integrated Energy Systems” • Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems is a research platform for understanding the impacts of the millions of new devices – such as EVs, renewable generation, hydrogen, energy storage, and grid-interactive buildings – that get connected to the grid each day. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Macau Photo Agency, Unsplash)

¶ “Digital Substations Learn How To Reliably Work With Variable Renewables” • Hitachi ABB launched its Smart Digital Substation. It combines digital technology with Hitachi’s own management software, to provide money-saving predictive management of substation assets, such as more variable renewable assets, energy storage, and power loads. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Curing Earth’s Diseases Through Renewable Energy” • “The earth is suffering from several ‘diseases’: global warming, ocean acidification, habitat loss, etc. If any of these diseases remains uncured, other diseases will accelerate and cause new ones to appear, hence putting humanity’s well-being in danger,” said Associate Professor Masahiko Fujii. [Mirage News]

Roadmap to 100% Renewable Energy of Hokkaido’s Electricity
(Hokkaido Energy Changes 100 – please click on the image)

¶ “Storing Solar Power In Salt” • A team from the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials at the University of Wollongong is leading an international consortium in an A$10.5 million ($8 million) project funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency develop sodium-ion batteries for renewable energy storage applications. [The Star]

World:

¶ “Record 260 GW Of Clean Power Added In 2020” • A record of over 260 GW of new renewable energy capacity was installed in 2020, despite the impact of Covid-19, according to data from the International Renewable Energy Agency. IRENA said in its “Renewable Capacity Statistics 2021” report that new capacity in 2020 was nearly 50% more than in 2019. [reNEWS]

Renewable energy (IRENA image)

¶ “The Dutch Plan To Install A Million Chargers By 2030” • The Dutch discovered that they need an extra 1,500,000 chargers by the end of this decade. Part of the National Climate Agreement, the National Charging Infrastructure Agenda has five goals for the charging infrastructure to support the country’s transition to emission-free transport. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed And John Kerry Discuss Renewable Energy Projects” • The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, discussed the UAE’s efforts on climate change and renewable energy with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, during the first Regional Climate Dialogue. [MEP Middle East]

Meeting (Mohamed Al Hammadi Ministry of Presidential Affairs)

¶ “Canada Launches Electric Vehicle Awareness Campaign” • The Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative is part of a broader $600 million investment the government of Canada has made to advance EV adoption. One function it has is to invest amounts of up to $50,000 in individual programs or projects, such as one to the Pollution Probe Foundation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japanese JV Accelerates 160 MW Of Offshore Plans” • A joint venture of Wind Power Group, Tokyo Gas, and Vena Energy Holdings is to speed development of the Kashima Port offshore wind farm off Japan. The project, with a capacity of nearly 160 MW, is to be located in Kashima Port in Ibaraki Prefecture. Its construction is to begin in 2024. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Insung Yoon, Unsplash)

¶ “Abu Dhabi Generated Some 2.16 Million MWh Of Renewable Electricity With $2.45 Billion Investments In 2020” • In 2020, the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, produced 2.16 million MWh of electric energy from renewable sources and invested over $2.45 billion in renewable energy projects, including the 2-GW Al Dhafra Solar Power project. [MEP Middle East]

¶ “TechnipFMC, Bombora Partner On Wind-Wave Hybrid Floater” • A partnership of TechnipFMC and Bombora combines Bombora’s multi-megawatt mWave wave energy technology with TechnipFMC’s technologies and experience delivering integrated engineering, procurement, construction, and installation projects offshore. [reNEWS]

Hybrid floater (TechnipFMC technology)

¶ “DISCOMs’ Outstanding Payments to Renewable Generators Cross ₹123 Billion in February” • Distribution companies owed ₹123.45 billion ($1.68 billion) to renewable energy generators (excluding disputed amounts) in overdue payments across 206 pending invoices at the end of February 2021, data released by India’s Ministry of Power shows. [Mercom India]

US:

¶ “Renewable Energy In The US Military: Creating A Lean Mean Green War-Fighting Machine” • The US military has been one of the greatest tech innovators on Earth. It won’t be different with energy. In addition to improved security with increased military use of renewables, the public stands to gain from the military’s downstream applications. [The National Interest]

All in a day’s work (US Army image via Flickr)

¶ “Some In California Want To Slow Rooftop Solar Adoption – Does That Make Sense?” • Considering that rooftop solar power now costs considerably less than California retail electricity on a system’s lifetime basis, net metering on top of the federal solar tax credit encourages a lot of homeowners to go solar. There are utilities pushing to change that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Berkeley Urges Residents To Opt For 100% Renewable Electricity” • A city of Berkeley press release urged Berkeley residents to opt in to a 100% renewable electricity plan, as the city recently did. “Switching to 100% renewable energy at home is one of the easiest ways all of us can help fight climate change,” the press release states. [The Daily Californian]

Have an appreciably priceless day.

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April 4 Energy News

April 4, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Strong Winds Off The Coast Could Power A Clean Energy Economy In North Carolina” • To learn the direction of energy production in North Carolina, look to a weather vane. Last year, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy of Virginia called off the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Now the weather vane points toward the wind. [Raleigh News & Observer]

Offshore wind turbines (Ragnar1904, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car? A Few Seconds” • This is nothing new to millions of electric car owners, but it’s something that should be shared, emphasized, and repeated every day for the many, many, many more people who don’t have an electric car. Charging the car at home takes up almost none of your time. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Diamond Battery Will Last 28,000 Years, Powered By Nuclear Waste” • A US-based startup uses radioactive isotopes from nuclear waste with ultra-slim layers of nanodiamonds to make a battery that will last up to 28,000 years. The Nano Diamond Battery hopes to start selling the batteries within the next two years. [Indiatimes.com]

NDB Battery

World:

¶ “France Pushes To Make Nuclear Power Mainstream In Europe” • Together with Eastern European leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron co-signed a letter calling on the European Commission to include nuclear energy in its Green taxonomy. The European taxonomy establishes an extensive list of “sustainable” activities. [Oil Price]

¶ “Plot to Manipulate Weather/Climate Backed by Bill Gates Scrubbed” • A plan to manipulate the weather/climate in an ambitious experiment went public last month. Now it appears plan has been scrubbed, after getting push-back from people around the world and in Sweden, where the initial experiment was to unfold. [Weatherboy]

Balloon to carry test equipment aloft (Harvard image)

India:

¶ “India’s biggest solar power plant coming up in Telangana in May” • India’s biggest floating solar power plant, which belongs to the National Thermal Power Corporation, is expected to become operational in Telangana next month. The 100-MW project has been set up in the reservoir of an NTPC thermal power plant. [Moneycontrol]

¶ “India Pushes Back Deadline For Coal-Fired Utilities To Adopt New Emission Norms” • India has pushed back deadlines for coal-fired power plants to adopt new emission norms by up to three years, and allowed utilities that miss the new target to continue operating after paying a penalty, according to a government notice. [The Daily Star]

Coal mine in India (Via Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “India Can Boost Clean Energy While Doubling Its Power Supply by 2030” • India has set ambitious targets for renewable power. But a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from researchers at Berkeley Lab, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Berkeley shows India can aim even higher with its renewable energy goals. [SciTechDaily]

US:

¶ “How To Electrify Entire US Federal Vehicle Fleet” • NREL’s Federal Fleet Project helps agencies plan their vehicle buying with data-driven decision-making. The decision making process entails categorizing vehicles by application, comparing how the vehicle is used in the real world, and identifying which vehicles would optimally go electric first. [CleanTechnica]

Solar charging system (Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E Scored 6,614 US Sales In Opening Quarter” • The Ford Mustang Mach-E arrived with a bang, in terms of PR and consumer enthusiasm. We now have sales data from Ford on the Mustang Mach-E’s delivery total for the first quarter of 2021. The number isn’t high, but the Tesla Model 3 started with a low number, too. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Chevy Bolt Sales Jump 53.7%” • The Chevy Bolt is not the most exciting or flamboyant electric car on the market. It’s not a Tesla or the Ford Mustang Mach-E. But it is the electric vehicle I see most often on the roads around me, aside from all of Tesla’s models. It’s exciting and uplifting to see them, even if the car itself never thrills me. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Audi E-Tron Scores New Quarterly Sales Record In USA” • The Audi e-tron just scored a new quarterly sales record in the United States. But before you get too excited about the news, recognize that the US market is nothing like the European market for the electric SUV from Germany. This new quarterly record comes to 3,474 units. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal Company Agrees To Fix Environmental Violations, Resume Operations In Perry County” • Perry County Resources, a Kentucky coal company, agreed to pay fines of over $200,000 and fix environmental violations. It had failed to reclaim land as required and allowed polluted water to drain from mines, so its mines were not allowed to operate. [WKYT]

Have a fabulously lovely day.

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April 3 Energy News

April 3, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Renewables Can Power The Economy Of An Independent Scotland – Lorna Slater” • Nicola Sturgeon was right to point out in debate that 97% of our electricity came from renewables last year. But Scotland’s potential is great enough to provide 25% of Europe’s renewable energy, and renewables can be a driver for an independent Scotland. [The Scotsman]

Wind turbines and Ailsa Craig (John R, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘World’s Fastest, Most Sensitive Drone-Based Leak Detection And Greenhouse Gas Measuring System’ Launched By ABB” • ABB claims it has the best solution for finding methane leaks. It says its “ABB Ability™ Mobile Gas Leak Detection System, HoverGuard, provides the solution by finding leaks faster and more reliably than ever before.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Cut Global Farming Productivity 21% Since 1960s” • Despite important agricultural advancements to feed the world in the last 60 years, a new study shows that global farming productivity is 21% lower than it could have been without climate change. The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. [The Tribune]

Farm (Gozha Net, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Sweden Hits 37% Plugin Share In March, New Policy Boost For Full Electrics” • Sweden saw a plugin electric vehicle market share of 37% in March 2021, up from 27.2% in March 2020. Plugin hybrids gained share from a last minute pull-forward in March, ahead of a policy change from April 1st which now more strongly favors full electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India’s Tata Power Launches SOLAROOF Campaign” • Tata Power is India’s largest integrated power utility, and it is putting more of its weight behind rooftop solar power. It is running a nationwide ad campaign titled SOLAROOF, and the campaign is not just for residential buyers; it’s also for commercial, industrial, and institutional buyers. [CleanTechnica]

Tata Power SOLAROOF ad

¶ “Mingyang Hails Turbine Triumph At Zhanjiang Xuwen” • The turbine manufacturer MingYang Smart Energy has installed the first offshore unit at the Zhanjiang Xuwen wind farm off China. MingYang Smart Energy said the machine will be the first of 47 MySE6.45-180 hybrid drive turbines to be installed at the project this year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Mumbai Railways Getting EV Charging Stations With Help From UNEP And Tata Power” • Mumbai railway stations will be getting EV charging stations as part of a new initiative to advance e-mobility in the Mumbai region. The program is a collaboration between UN Environment Programme, Tata Power, and Central Railway. [CleanTechnica]

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Image by PDPics from Pixabay)

¶ “Thai New Renewable Energy Landmark Will Boost Power Supply And Tourism” • The Provincial Electricity Authority will promote a hydro-floating solar hybrid project at Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani province as a new landmark for renewable energy and also stimulate the province’s economy by the end of this year. [Pattaya Mail]

US:

¶ “Tulane University Buys 5 Vicinity Electric Shuttle Buses” • Tulane University has received $737,500 from the US DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for the purchase of five electric Grand West Vicinity buses and the installation of private charging stations, New Orleans City Business reports. [CleanTechnica]

Shuttle bus (Paula Burch-Celentano, courtesy of Tulane University)

¶ “The Fossil Fuel Industry Used Deception To Conceal Damage To BIPOC – NAACP Report” • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People just published a report that identified ten tactics that the fossil fuel industry used to excuse not accepting accountability for its impacts on the environment and human health. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Delivered 184,800 Electric Vehicles In Q1 2021, Blowing Away Expectations” • Tesla has reported its vehicle production for the first quarter of 2021. Those numbers were well past what many were speculating, even including well known Tesla delivery tracker Troy Teslike. Tesla delivered 184,800 EVs and produced 180,338 in the first quarter. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Bram Van Oost, Unsplash)

¶ “Energy Transition To Renewables Likely To Accelerate Over Next Two To Three Years” • The energy transition to renewables in the US is “likely to accelerate” over the next two to three years, says a report. The analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis claims that coal and gas are set to become the “biggest losers.” [nsenergybusiness.com]

¶ “Long Reliant On Oil And Gas, Oklahoma Is Emerging As A Leader In Renewable Energy” • Oklahoma has been developing a fair amount of windpower, but that is not all. About 11 GW of solar and storage projects being developed in Oklahoma have applied for approval from the Southwest Power Pool to feed power onto the grid. [The Oklahoman]

Oklahoma wind turbines (USGS image, public domain)

¶ “Apple Investing In Major Energy Storage Project In California” • Apple is constructing one of the largest battery projects in the country. California Flats is an industry-leading, grid-scale energy storage project capable of storing 240 MWh of energy, enough to power over 7,000 homes for one day. It is together with Apple’s 130-MW solar farm. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “A Reshaped Battlefield For Climate Policy” • Like former President Barack Obama, Biden made climate an early focus in his administration. But unlike Obama, Biden may find mildly friendly allies for his climate agenda in corporate America and diminished corporate forces fighting against his environmental proposals. [Ponca City News]

Have an extraordinarily okay day.

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April 2 Energy News

April 2, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “How Joe Biden’s Ambitious Infrastructure Bill Will Impact Renewable Energy” • Rob Gramlich, Grid Strategies President, joins Yahoo Finance Live to break down President Joe Biden’s ambitious infrastructure bill and its impact on renewable energy. The discussion starts with the initiatives that are included in the American Jobs Act. [Yahoo Finance]

Solar array (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Evidence Of Antarctic Glacier’s Tipping Point Confirmed For First Time” • Researchers at Northumbria University have confirmed for the first time that Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica could cross tipping points, leading to a rapid and irreversible retreat which would have significant consequences for global sea level. [EurekAlert!]

World:

¶ “Volkswagen’s European Factories Up To 95% Powered By Renewables” • In 2020, Volkswagen Group increased the share of renewables powering its European factories from 80% to 95%, and ten of its factories became 100% renewably powered. The target is for Volkswagen’s factories to reach 100% renewable power by 2023. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Tesla Is Leading The Global EV Market Again (Charts!)” • Tesla is leading the global market again with sales of its Model 3 and Model Y EVs. The Model 3’s sales exceeded those of the Wuling Mini EV in February, which held the top spot in January. And the Tesla Model 3 is sure to pass it for the quarter when the March sales figures come in. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Labour Party Pushes For Electric Vehicle Revolution” • The UK EV market has been hot, but it could be much hotter, and the Labour Party wants to make it so. Party leadership want to increase access to EVs, increase charging infrastructure, and speed up EV adoption. Incentives include interest-free loans and credits for scrapping polluting cars. [CleanTechnica]

Citroën e-C4 (© Citroën Communication / DR)

¶ “Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corp Commissions Farm-Based Solar Power Unit In Jaipur” • Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd commissioned a farm-based solar power project under the PM-KUSUM scheme. The system is the first in a 722-MW project to help the farmers earn additional income through their unused land. [Devdiscourse]

¶ “Investor Ardian Goes Digital Across 3.5-G W Portfolio” • The renewables investor Ardian has partnered with Greenbyte and Pexapark for a “major upgrade” to the digital asset management systems for its 3500-MW portfolio. Their goal is to implement an end-to-end renewable energy online platform to monitor technical and market risks. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Cameron Venti, Unsplash)

¶ “Experts Threaten To Quit Over New EU ‘Green Finance’ Rules” • Nine experts in a European Commission advisor group on sustainable finance rules threatened to step down if Brussels continues to uphold rules they see as “a clear contradiction to climate science.” One rule they object to would classify some gas-fired plants as sustainable. [EUobserver]

US:

¶ “Energy Secretary Granholm: Focus On Renewable Energy Will Protect US ‘Manufacturing Backbone’” • President Biden’s infrastructure proposal includes hundreds of billions of dollars to address climate change by cutting emissions and increasing the use of clean energy. Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm is with PBS to discuss the matter. [PBS]

Secretary Jennifer Granholm (US DOE, public domain, cropped)

¶ “Latest FERC Reports Show Renewables Significantly Out-Performed Nuclear Power In 2020” • Several reports by the Energy Information Administration and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission show that the mix of renewable energy sources significantly out-performed and expanded their lead over nuclear power in 2020. [Solar Power World]

¶ “RIPTA To Tap Solar Energy With New Collaboration” • The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority estimates that it will save a quarter of a million dollars in electricity costs annually through a remote net energy agreement with Kearsarge Energy. The 2,807-kW solar array is on the brownfield site of a former tank farm in East Providence. [Mass Transit]

RIPTA solar array (RIPTA image)

¶ “In A Record Year For Clean Energy Purchases, Southeast Cities Stand Out” • Cities around the country bought more renewable energy last year than ever before, data from the Rocky Mountain Institute and World Resources Institute shows. About half of the “most noteworthy” of the cities are in the area stretching from Texas to Washington, DC. [Energy News Network]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Provide Turbines For Invenergy Wind Farms” • GE Renewable Energy has signed a wind turbines supply contract with power generation company Invenergy for three wind farms in Oklahoma. The farms, with a combined capacity of 1485 MW, will be owned by American Electric Power once completed. [Power Technology]

Wind turbines in Oklahoma (General Electric image, cropped)

¶ “PNM’s Plans For The Future Include Reduced Baseload Power And Increased Renewable Energy” • New Mexico’s largest electric utility is planning to reduce its baseload power while increasing power generated by renewable resources and possibly adding natural gas generation with turbines capable of producing power from hydrogen. [The NM Political Report]

¶ “Advanced Nuclear Reactor Planned North Of Richland” • Energy Northwest, Grant County PUD, and X-energy announced a partnership to see through the development and commercial demonstration of the first advanced nuclear reactor in the US. The power plant will be built on an existing Energy Northwest site, north of Richland, Washington. [KXLY]

Have an indubitably delightful day.

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April 1 Energy News

April 1, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Former BlackRock Exec Explains Why ‘Green’ Investment Strategies Won’t Work” • In the so-called Free Market, companies are built primarily to extract profit. If we really want to save the planet, we should demand polluters pay for the damage they do. That’s what a carbon tax would do and the only way that is going to happen. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution (Daniel Moqvist, Unsplash)

¶ “Biden Energy Plan Boosts Renewables Outlook, Puts Oil And Gas On Notice” • President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure and energy plan would dramatically reshape the nation’s energy landscape by offering new tax incentives for clean energy, electric transmission projects, and carbon capture and storage technology. [S&P Global]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Kyoto’s Cherry Blossoms Have Bloomed Unusually Early” • Warmer weather has meant that blossoms in the city of Kyoto peaked on 26 March, which is the earliest date recorded since records began in 812 AD in imperial court documents and diaries. Part of the reason for the early date is climate change. Part is the urban heat island effect. [Lonely Planet]

Cherry blossoms in Tokyo (ajari, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Why The Sun Isn’t Causing Today’s Climate Change” • Yes, the sun is a profoundly important factor in Earth’s climate. It always will be. But scientists, like those at NASA, know the sun isn’t causing the current, rapid rise in global temperatures. Here’s how they know human-created greenhouse gases, not the sun, are driving these changes. [Mashable India]

World:

¶ “Drive An EV Without A Long-Term Commitment With A Subscription” • If you want to drive an EV, a subscription may be your answer. You’d have a late model without a substantial down payment. You’d be free of a long-term commitment. Steer, Elmo, Canoo, Porsche, and Volvo are just some of the companies that are working on subscriptions. [CleanTechnica]

Charging EVs (Image courtesy of EVAEngland)

¶ “$5.4 Billion Project Aims To Be World’s Largest Green H₂ Producer In 2025” • Enegix Energy is pursuing plans to build Base One, a $5.4 billion facility off the coast of Brazil. Energix Energy claims that Base One will be the world’s biggest single CO₂ reducer by generating more than 600 million kg of green hydrogen per year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enercon Scores 305 M W In Canada Wind Treble” • Enercon has won a 305-MW turbine order from Potentia Renewables for three wind projects in Canada. Enercon will supply 55 E-160 EP5 E3 turbines with 114 meter hybrid steel towers, each capable of producing up to 5.56 MW, for three projects in Canada over a period of two years. [reNEWS]

Installing a turbine blade (Enercon image)

¶ “More Than 100 Of Apple’s Global Suppliers Are Moving To 100% Renewable Energy” • Apple announced that over 110 of its manufacturing partners globally are moving to 100% renewable energy for their Apple production, with nearly 8 GW of clean energy planned. They will avoid over 15 million metric tons of CO₂e annually. [Environment + Energy Leader]

¶ “Oil And Gas Majors Focus On Renewable Energy, Hydrogen, And Carbon Capture” • You’d be hard-pressed to find an expert who believes oil and gas companies will abandon exploration and production operations anytime soon, but several oil and gas majors are expanding their businesses into the renewable energy sector, and some in a big way. [Power Magazine]

WindFloat Atlantic floating wind farm (Repsol courtesy image)

¶ “Saudi Arabia Aims For 50% Renewable Energy By 2030, Backs Huge Tree Planting Initiative” • Saudi Arabia will generate 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030 and plant 10 billion trees, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced. The climate crisis increased desertification, dust storms, and air pollution, to damage both health and economy. [Climate Home News]

US:

¶ “Here’s What’s In Biden’s Infrastructure Proposal” • Now that his massive coronavirus relief package is law, President Joe Biden is laying out his next big proposal: A roughly $2 trillion plan for improving the nation’s infrastructure and shifting to greener energy over the next 8 years. He is set to unveil the effort today at an event in Pittsburgh. [CNN]

Joe Biden signing things (White House photo, public domain)

¶ “DOE Geothermal Competitions Heat Up: New Lithium Extraction Prize And Teams Advance In Manufacturing Prize” • The DOE announced the American-Made Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize. The prize is to advance technologies improving the economics and lessening environmental impacts of lithium mining from geothermal brines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen Fuel Cell Flight Backed By A-List Green Hydrogen Backer” • When Bill Gates launched Breakthrough Energy Ventures back in 2016, the clean tech investor group leaned toward nuclear energy. Now, it seems H₂ is becoming its primary interest. BEV has chipped in a share of funding for the US fuel cell aircraft startup ZeroAvia. [CleanTechnica]

ZeroAvian fuel cell plane (photo courtesy of ZeroAvia)

¶ “Volvo Electric Semi Trucks Now Eligible For $120,000 In Rebates” • Volvo VNR electric semis offer plenty of good reasons for fleet owners to buy them. Now, there’s another reason. The Volvo VNR is now officially eligible for California’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project, with up to $120,000 of rebates per truck. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden Proposes Energy Tax Credit Extension” • President Biden has proposed a ten-year extension and phase down of an expanded direct-pay investment tax credit and production tax credit for clean energy generation and storage. These credits will be paired with strong labor standards to ensure the jobs created are of good-quality. [reNEWS]

Have an unambiguously great day.

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March 31 Energy News

March 31, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “ExxonMobil vs Chevron: Fight For Second-To-Last Place Among Fossil Fuel Companies” • There are a lot of noteworthy issues to watch at this year’s virtual annual meetings. Three broad themes are EU versus US climate action, the need for climate lobbying disclosure, and an Chevron vs ExxonMobil fight over which is worst. [CleanTechnica]

Oil tankers off California (USCG photo, public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “World Powers Race To Develop ‘Green’ Hydrogen” • “Green” hydrogen produced without fossil fuel energy is seen as the missing link in the race for carbon-neutrality: The world’s richest countries have various strategies. Some would produce it using electricity from solar and wind. Others plan to use electricity from nuclear plants. [EURACTIV.com]

World:

¶ “Kia EV6: 510+ Km, 0-To-100 Km/H In 3.5 Seconds, 800-V Charging” • The specs for Kia’s EV6 were just revealed, and it offers several things to brag about. Kia’s overall electrification goals are weak, however. Volvo is aiming to be 100% fully electric by 2030, and GM by 2035, but Kia’s goal is for sales to sell 40% battery and hybrid vehicles by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Kia EV6

¶ “India Restricts Module Models Allowed To Be Installed At New Projects” • To ensure that only quality equipment is used at solar power projects and, possibly, to provide protection to domestic manufacturers from a flood of Chinese solar modules, Indian governments have released a list of module models it will allow installed at new power plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Auctions 500 MW Of Solar At 3.03¢ Per KWh” • The Indian state of Gujarat has awarded 500 MW of solar power in the first auction after the announcement of new import duties on solar modules. The capacity was awarded to five companies. The projects were awarded at tariffs of ₹2.20 and ₹2.21/kWh (3.03¢ and 3.04¢/kWh). [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar system in India (Anureza, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Ørsted To Develop Dutch-Flemish Green Hydrogen Plant” • Ørsted is to develop a renewable hydrogen plant to be linked to industrial demand in the Netherlands and Belgium. It will be one of the world’s largest of its type, with GW-scale electrolysis to supply industrial demand in the Dutch-Flemish North Sea Ports with hydrogen created by the wind. [reNEWS]

¶ “Vestas Secures Contracts In Ireland And Japan” • Vestas has secured a 30-MW order on the Lenalea Wind Farm in Ireland being developed by SSE Renewables and Coillte Renewable Energy. The company has also extended its footprint in Japan with a 43-MW order for the Yokohama-machi Wind Power Plant in Aomori prefecture. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “TPG Telecom Dials Up To 100% Renewable Electricity” • TPG Telecom, one of Australia’s top energy users, has dialed up its clean energy ambition and committed to power its Australian operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2025. Estimates are that TPG Telecom consumes well over 200,000 MWh of electricity each year. [Mirage News]

¶ “Vestas Signs Up Spanish Wind Farm” • Vestas has received a 50-MW turbine order for an undisclosed wind project in Spain. The contract includes the supply and installation of twelve V150-4.2MW wind turbines, two of which will be delivered in 4.0-MW power mode, as well as a 20-year Active Output Management 4000 service agreement. [reNEWS]

Two wind turbines (Vestas image)

US:

¶ “Scientists To Biden: Reduce Emissions 50% Below 2005 Levels By 2030” • Over 1,000 scientists, including Dr Michael Mann, signed a letter urging President Joe Biden to pursue a “robust target” of reducing the nation’s “emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 and transitioning to a net-zero emissions economy no later than 2050.” [Common Dreams]

¶ “‘Immediate And Drastic.’ The Climate Crisis Is Seriously Spooking Economists” • According to a survey from the Institute for Policy Integrity at the NYU School of Law, 74% of economists agree “immediate and drastic” action is warranted to curb CO₂ emissions. That’s up sharply from 50% in 2015. The change is based on clearly increasing impacts. [CNN]

Economic direction (AbsolutVision, Unsplash)

¶ “Republican Lawmakers Take Aim At Arizona Renewable Energy Standards” • As states in the West beef up their renewable energy requirements, the push in Arizona has been met by fierce resistance from the GOP-dominated Legislature and Republican governor. Instead, they want to strip elected utility regulators of their power to set energy policy. [KTAR.com]

¶ “US Interior Department Puts ~$249 Million Into Gulf State Coastal Conservation, Restoration, And Hurricane Protection” • The Interior Department announced nearly $249 million energy revenues are going to four offshore oil and gas producing Gulf states – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas – for coastal programs. [CleanTechnica]

Gulf coast (James Lewis, Unsplash)

¶ “Cobb EMC Sets Renewable Energy Goals For 2030” • Cobb EMC, a non-profit electrical utility, is focusing on goals for the coming decade. To date, Cobb EMC has sold 3.8 Billion kWh electricity in many parts of the US. Their initiatives of setting up solar panels and battery storage are moving towards making it big, growing 200% by 2023. [TechStory]

¶ “State Bets On Renewable Energy With Shift In Investment Strategy” • Wind and solar projects will make up a bigger portion of Connecticut’s investments under a shift in strategy announced by the state’s treasurer, Shawn Wooden. The state has committed $100 million to a renewable power fund III that focuses on wind and solar energy. [Hartford Business Journal]

Have an unwaveringly perfect day.

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March 30 Energy News

March 30, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Coastal Forests Are Managed Can Impact Water Cycle” • Younger trees take up and release less water than mature trees, researchers from North Carolina State University found in a new study that tracked water in wetland pine forests. Managers should time timber harvests to leave older trees alongside new growth to mitigate runoff. [EurekAlert]

Carolina Beach State Park (FL Smith, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “En-ROADS Brings Climate Science To The Masses” • Climate science is complicated, and it’s easy to think the subject is much too complex for ordinary people to understand. Scientists use computer models to study it. But what if ordinary folks could do that? En-ROADS is an interactive simulation tool for the masses to study climate change. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Rolls-Royce, Tecnam, And Widerøe To Deliver An All-Electric Passenger Aircraft In 2026” • Rolls-Royce, the world’s second biggest manufacturer of aircraft engines, is pretty serious about electric aircraft. Now, it has announced plans to partner with Tecnam and Widerøe to deliver a working electric passenger aircraft in 2026. [CleanTechnica]

Electric passenger plane (Image provided by Rolls-Royce)

¶ “Uganda Climate Change: The People Under Threat From A Melting Glacier” • As a child, Ronah Masika’s family could grow its own food, but as Uganda’s glacier melted, things changed. She said, “Now I and other people find it difficult to sustain ourselves with what we plant at home, because everything gets destroyed by floods or drought.” [BBC]

¶ “Small-Scale Solar Is Now Second Biggest Player In Australia’s Renewable Energy Mix” • Renewable energy almost doubled in the last five years and accounts for over a quarter of Australia’s electricity supply, growing from 14.6% in 2015 to 27.7% in 2020, a Clean Energy Australia report says. And small-scale solar is now second only to windpower. [pv magazine Australia]

Rooftop solar system in Victoria (Sustainability Victoria image)

¶ “India’s Greenko Plans $4.8 Billion Pumped Storage Project” • Media reports say Greenko plans to invest $4.3 billion to set up a 2-GW hybrid solar-wind project supported by 8,000 MWh of pumped hydro storage in Rajasthan. The project is likely to be completed by 2024 and will be the world’s largest renewable energy asset, the company said. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Credit Suisse Says China To Ramp Up Local Demand And Supply Of Renewables” • Analysis by Credit Suisse shows that China will have several opportunities to speed up local demand and supply of renewable energy sources to achieve its net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2060 and end dependency on foreign manufacturing. [Green Queen Media]

Wind turbines (Credit Suisse image)

¶ “India Imposes 40% Import Duty On Solar Modules” • India’s Minister of New and Renewable Energy has announced the imposition of a basic customs duty on solar cells and modules. Solar cells brought into India will have a 20% duty, while a 40% duty will be levied on imported modules. These duties will be imposed starting 1 April 2022. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Biden Launches Major Push To Expand Offshore Wind” • The White House laid out an ambitious strategy to raise the first fleet of American offshore wind farms, announcing specific plans that could boost an eager industry and help the country meet climate targets. President Biden mandated a wind energy lease auction in the New York Bight as early as this year. [E&E News]

Block Island Wind Farm (Gary Norton, NREL)

¶ “Biden Administration Launches Task Force To Ensure That Scientific Decisions Are Free From Political Influence” • A task force is being set up to review the federal government’s scientific policies to ensure that they are free from inappropriate political influence. Several top health officials say they had been pressured by the Trump administration. [CNN]

¶ “ElectraMeccanica Chooses Mesa, Arizona To Build SOLO Car” • ElectraMeccanica has been looking for the right city to build its headquarters and production facilities for about a year. It worked with officials to see what kind of incentives they could get to set up shop, and Arizona offered it a good mix of flexibility and workforce availability. [CleanTechnica]

ElectraMeccanica SOLO Car (ElectraMeccanica image)

¶ “CASE Announces Industry’s First Electric Backhoe-Loader, NY Utilities Take First Deliveries” • CASE has announced the first all electric backhoe. The cost savings are obvious. Instead of a constantly running diesel engine using fuel and wearing down, the machine can use little to no energy when it’s not operating, but respond instantly when needed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Renewable Energy Bill Is Fueling A Fight Over Local Control In Indiana” • A bill in Indiana that would expand renewable energy is drawing unusual battle lines. It would propose doing away with local ordinances around renewables and instead develop a uniform set of statewide requirements. Many local groups are very opposed to this. [Gizmodo]

Indiana wind turbines (Mattchobbs, placed in the public domain)

¶ “Vote Solar Begins Work In Pennsylvania, Pushes For Greater Renewable Commitment” • Vote Solar is supporting one of its first legislative efforts in Pennsylvania. A bill before the Senate would amend the state’s 2004 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard Act to increase Pennsylvania’s renewable energy goal from 8% by 2026 to 18%. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Nuclear Security Represents $4 Billion Annual Subsidy In US, Trillion For Fleet For Full Lifecycle” • The nuclear industry requires, but doesn’t pay much of the price of, overlapping layers of security on its international and national supply chains, plant sites, and waste management. The cost constitutes a subsidy of roughly $4 billion per year. [CleanTechnica]

Have a spectacularly easy day.

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March 29 Energy News

March 29, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Is About To Put His Bipartisan Appeal To The Test” • With some wind in his sails from the massively popular Covid relief package, President Joe Biden’s next big legislative push is set to bring a far more challenging bipartisan test in the coming weeks. That next push is for a sweeping infrastructure plan. [CleanTechnica]

Golden Gate Bridge (Yang LiuYang Liu, Unsplash)

¶ “Ford Rises To The Occasion: My Review Of The Mustang Mach-E” • As the world is currently witnessing a key battery tipping point and acceleration into the age of electromobility, some have wondered: will the Big Three be left behind, or can they rise to the occasion? Fortunately, Ford has risen to the occasion with the Mustang Mach-E. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Chill: My Review Of The Volkswagen ID.4” • The universal question about EVs is: will the rest of the automotive industry step up and provide some alternatives to the great products that the boys and girls in Fremont have been producing for a while? One that does is one of the most legendary forces in the field: Volkswagen. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.4 (Volkswagen image)

World:

¶ “Massive Fire Rages At Indonesian Oil Refinery” • Firefighters in Indonesia are working to put out a massive fire that has broken out at one of the country’s largest oil refineries. The fire broke out at the Balongan refinery, run by state oil firm Pertamina. At least five people are injured and around 950 residents have been evacuated to safety. [BBC]

¶ “Supreme Court Of Canada Upholds National Carbon Tax” • In 2018, the Canadian government adopted a national carbon tax to start at $40 per ton and increase annually. Three of the country’s provinces – Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario – opposed the national carbon tax and took steps to block it in court. Last week, they lost their fight. [CleanTechnica]

Hall of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC image, cropped)

¶ “Actis To Set Up 2 Green Firms With $850 Million” • Private equity firm Actis LLP plans to invest $850 million in India to build two green energy platforms, according to two people who are aware of the development. The plan highlights the ongoing interest among global investors in the domestic renewable energy market of India. [Livemint]

¶ “Aker Offshore Wind And Hexicon Probe Swedish Floater Potential” • Aker Offshore Wind and Hexicon entered into a joint development agreement to explore opportunities to develop floating wind projects off Sweden to generate several gigawatts of power. The two companies have agreed to jointly work to mature early phase prospects in Sweden. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Herztier Kang, Unsplash)

¶ “Batteries And Renewables To Provide Secure Energy Future: New Report” • The Energy Security Board commissioned new research by the Australia Institute to help it redesign the National Electricity Market. The study shows that batteries and clean energy are set to replace the system security that historically has been provided by coal. [Mirage News]

¶ “Sembcorp Marine, GE Firm Up $826 Million Sofia Offshore Wind Farm Contract” • Singapore’s Sembcorp Marine and GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions have secured a firm contract from RWE Renewables for the supply to supply the high voltage direct current transmission system for the Sofia offshore wind farm, in the UK. [OE Digital]

Map showing Sofia Offshore Wind Farm (RWE image)

¶ “China Generated Over Half World’s Coal-Fired Power In 2020 – Study” • China generated 53% of the world’s total coal-fired power in 2020, nine percentage points more than five years earlier, despite climate pledges and the building of hundreds of renewable energy plants, according to a study by the energy and climate research group Ember. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Greens Leader Proposes 700% Renewables For A Clean, Green Export Economy” • Australian Greens party leader Adam Bandt launched his next Federal Election policies centered on arresting climate change. “Imagine what we could achieve if we had a government that wasn’t backed by the fossil fuel industry,” he suggested. [pv magazine Australia]

Solar as far as the eye can see? (Mars Australia image)

US:

¶ “Electrify America And Jeep Partner To Create Trailhead Charging Network” • Jeep announced that it’s going to build the 4xe Charging Network (4xe is pronounced “four by E”). The overall plan is to put a Level 2 charging station at the trailheads for every Jeep Badge of Honor trail. Jeep wants to complete this within the next 12 months. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Proterra Partners With Lighting EMotors For Commercial Electric Van” • Lightning eMotors announced that Proterra, the builder of electric transit vehicles, will provide it with battery packs for its electric vans. The Lightning Electric Transit is a commercial vehicle that can serve as a delivery van, school bus, ambulance, RV, or otherwise. [CleanTechnica]

Lightning Electric Transit van (Image by Lightning eMotors)

¶ “Utilities Chart Renewable Energy Future As State Mandates Level Off” • Michigan’s mandates for renewable power and energy efficiency programs – first set in 2008 and increased slightly in 2016 – are scheduled to level off this year. It may make little difference, however, as the clean energy transition rolls on under market forces. [MiBiz]

¶ “Physicians Group Challenges License Extension For Point Beach Nuclear Plant” • An anti-nuclear group is seeking to block efforts to keep Wisconsin’s only operational nuclear power plant running through 2050. Physicians for Social Responsibility filed a petition asking federal regulators for a hearing on the licenses for the Point Beach Nuclear Plant. [Journal Times]

Have an enchantingly worthwhile day.

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March 28 Energy News

March 28, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The Real Reason Humans Are The Dominant Species” • From the time early humans first made fire to the fossil fuels that drove the industrial revolution, energy has played a central role in our development as a species. But the way we power our societies has also created humanity’s biggest challenge. It’s one that will take all our ingenuity to solve. [BBC]

Campfire in Tasmania (Manuel Meurisse, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Should Solar Geoengineering Be A Tool To Slow Global Warming?” • The risks of the climate crisis are so urgent that the US, with other countries and under strict rules, should study solar geoengineering as a way to temporarily cool the planet, says a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “MIT Takes Deep Dive Into Dropping Lithium-Ion Battery Costs” • A research team at the MIT took a look into lithium-ion battery costs. In a paper published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, they found that the cost of lithium-ion battery cells, relative to capacity, has fallen about 97% since their commercial introduction in 1991. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla battery (Courtesy of Tesla)

World:

¶ “World Bank Offers $100 Million Credit Guarantee For Rooftop Solar Power In India” • According to media reports, the World Bank will offer $648 million in funding assistance for the installation of rooftop solar PV projects for small and medium scale companies. This package includes a credit guarantee scheme worth $100 million. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen ID.Buzz Delivery Timeline Update” • There are a lot of cool electric cars on the market, and more coming every day, but there is no electric car that generates as much buzz as the appropriately named ID.Buzz from Volkswagen. Why the furor? The ID.Buzz is rather like a VW Microbus for the EV generation. [CleanTechnica]

ID.Buzz (Courtesy of VolksWagen)

¶ “India’s Tata Power Announces Blockchain-Based P2P Solar Power Trading Pilot” • Tata Power Delhi announced that it will collaborate with Power Ledger to launch a pilot project where prosumers can trade solar power with neighboring buildings. It is India’s third pilot project for peer-to-peer trading of solar power using blockchain technology. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mercedes-Benz To Source CO₂-Free Electricity From Solar, Wind And Hydropower From 2022 Onwards” • Together with the energy supplier Enovos and the Norwegian energy producer Statkraft, Mercedes-Benz is expanding its green power portfolio in Germany: the green power mix is made up of solar, wind and hydropower. [automobilsport.com]

Solar farm (Mercedes photo)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Tops European Market In February – EV Sales Report” • Year on year, overall European auto sales were down 20% in February, but passenger plugin vehicle sales were up 66%. Plugin hybrid sales jumped by 117%, to 65,581 units, though fully electric cars had a more moderate growth of 27%. The sales title went to the Tesla Model 3. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “GOP Lawmakers Want To Boost Coal And Colstrip – Not Renewable Power” • While coal-fired power production is on the decline nationally, Republican lawmakers in Montana are out to buck that trend, advancing an agenda this session to keep the two remaining Colstrip power units going and de-emphasize wind and solar power. [KTVH]

Colstrip power plant (P.primo, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

¶ “NIPSCO, EDP Renewables To Bring Wind Farm And Solar Park To Northwest Indiana” • EDP Renewables North America, LLC and Northern Indiana Public Service Company, LLC have executed a long-term Power Purchase Agreement and a Build & Transfer Agreement for a 204-MW wind farm and a 200-MW solar farm in Indiana. [The Chicago Crusader]

¶ “Iowa’s Former Nuclear Plant Could Soon Be a Solar Farm” • Last summer, a derecho put Iowa’s only nuclear power plant out of commission. It was already slated to be closed last year, so the shutdown became permanent. Now there’s a plan to breathe new life into the Duane Arnold nuclear plant, as a massive renewable energy project. [Gizmodo]

Nebraska solar farm (Randy Hampton, US DOE, public domain)

¶ “Climate Activists In Portland Chain Themselves To Boat On Morrison Bridge” • Climate activists staged a protest in Portland, Oregon, demanding that the city accelerate its efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions. Some of the activists in the group Extinction Rebellion chained themselves to a bright pink boat blocking the Morrison Bridge. [OPB News]

¶ “As Ogden Questions Renewable Energy Measure, Proponents Tout Initiative” • City leaders in Ogden, Utah, are sorting through questions about a renewable energy initiative, particularly what impact the change would have on power bills. But there’s a strong grassroots contingent in the city that favors bolstering renewable power production. [Standard-Examiner]

Have a gloriously happy day.

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CO₂ NH₃ CH₄ ₹

March 27 Energy News

March 27, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Why We’re Celebrating Renewable Energy Wins In Nunavut” • While the past year has certainly been filled with challenges, it’s also seen some successes for the environment. For Earth Hour 2021, let’s appreciate how far we’ve come and celebrate recent renewable energy wins in Nunavut. Because there’s a lot for us to celebrate. [WWF-Canada Blog]

Installer training in Nunavut (Martha Lenio, © WWF Canada)

Science and Technology:

¶ “UK Can Power Transport Entirely With Renewables If Used Efficiently” • The UK will have enough renewable resources to meet demand for transport in 2050, T&E analysis finds. But this is only possible if it reserves the use of e-fuels for shipping and aviation, as use of e-fuels for road vehicles is impractical in terms of the electricity it needs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Soil Carbon Sink Doesn’t Grow With Atmospheric CO₂, Study Finds” • Soil’s capacity to store carbon may be less than previously thought, a study published in Nature says. The amount of carbon stored in soil is approximately triple that stored in living plants, but as rising CO₂ levels increase plant growth, soil carbon storage decreases. [CleanTechnica]

Carbon sink (Irina Iriser, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Biden Invites Putin And Xi To First Climate Change Summit Of His Presidency” • The autocratic leaders of Russia and China have been invited to President Biden’s first major round of climate talks next month, he announced Friday, signaling that he plans to take a big tent approach to address the spiraling crisis of global warming. [msnNow]

¶ “Audi To Cut Water Consumption In Half By 2035” • Audi recently announced that it wants to cut its water consumption in half by 2035. That’s a much bigger task than it sounds like, but the company seems to have a fairly solid plan on how to achieve it. Audi’s plan will consider the availability of water regionally for prioritizing action. [CleanTechnica]

Water use goal (Image by Audi)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Pride Orders 100 Lion Electric Trucks” • We’ve been covering a variety of Lion Electric bus orders, but now the company has news on its electric truck business. Pride Group Enterprises gave Lion Electric its largest electric truck order to date, an order for 100 fully electric trucks. Most of the trucks will be delivered in 2021, and the rest in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Industry Dialogue ‘Crucial’ To Norwegian Offshore Success” • Increased dialogue should map out what is needed on a project basis, as well as what business models and suitable commercial framework conditions, the Norwegian Wind Energy Association said in a position paper on further development for offshore wind in the country. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Jack Hunter, Unsplash)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Wins Vietnamese Wind Farm Contract” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it has won a contract to supply eight wind turbines for a 30-MW wind farm in Vietnam. Located in the South-Central coastal region of Vietnam, the Thuan Nhien Phong project is expected to power the equivalent of 45,000 homes. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures 86-MW Swedish Double” • Siemens Gamesa has won two turbine contracts from European Energy in Sweden totaling 86 MW. One is for six 5.8-170 machines for the Grevekulla project near Eksjo. The other is for eight of the same model for the Skaramala project. The turbines will have a flexible rating with most operating at 6.2 MW. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Scottish Government Misses Renewable Energy Generation Target By 3%” • New figures have revealed that Scotland has missed a target to generate the equivalent of 100% of its electrical demand from renewables in 2020 by just 3%. The country reached 97.4% from renewable sources, an increase by 7.9% from the last reported figure in 2019. [insider.co.uk]

US:

¶ “Spokane Gets twelve New Electric Buses” • The city of Spokane in the state of Washington just added twelve new electric buses to its modest bus service. The city of 220,000, located near the the state’s eastern border, ordered twelve New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE buses. Ten of them are 60-foot buses, and two are 40-foot buses. [CleanTechnica]

Spokane Transit electric bus (Courtesy of New Flyer)

¶ “New Flyer Announces Improved Electric Bus, More Sales” • New Flyer, an established manufacturer of electric buses, has announced a new and improved electric bus. It is the Xcelsior CHARGE NG, which is lighter, more efficient, and has longer range than its previous buses. The new bus achieves this with three technological improvements. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DHL Putting 89 New Lightning Electric Vans On The Road” • DHL Express has been doing trials on nine Lightning Electric electric vans since late last year. The pilot has been going well, and the company intends to put another 89 on the roads of California and New York. The electric vans are based on the Ford Transit 350HD. [CleanTechnica]

DHL van (Image courtesy of DHL)

¶ “Senate Democrats To Nullify Trump Methane Rollbacks With CRA” • Senate Democrats plan to nullify Trump administration rollbacks of methane regulations via the Congressional Review Act. The relatively obscure process can reinstate important Obama era methane regulations through a simple majority vote in the Senate. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Report: Radioactive Cleanup At Idaho Nuclear Site Working” • Ongoing Superfund cleanup work of radioactive and other contamination at the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho has been successful at protecting humans and the environment, US and state officials say. Fifty-two test reactors were built there starting in the late 1940s. [Columbia Basin Herald]

Have an unrestrainedly triumphant day.

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March 26 Energy News

March 26, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Assisting Evolution: How Much Should We Help Species Adapt?” • It may no longer be enough to protect species from a changing environment – we may have to assist in their evolution if they are to survive the 21st Century. To protect natural species, it has come to the point that it may actually be necessary to guide their evolution artificially. [BBC]

Cat (Sangia, Unsplash)

¶ “USA Is So Freakin’ Far Behind Europe On Electric Vehicle Adoption – Or Is It?” • Europe is far ahead of the US in adopting EVs. That is exciting when thinking about the European side and depressing when thinking about the US side. But there is some hope that the US can step on a torquey accelerator pedal and reach new inspiring heights. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Finally, Infrastructure Week Isn’t A Joke” • For many years people have furrowed their brows and declared infrastructure “crumbling.” One former Transportation Secretary called the US “one big pothole.” That may be changing, as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg kicks off a major effort to jump-start infrastructure investments. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus (Image courtesy of BYD)

Science and Technology:

¶ “All Eyes On $4 Million Diesel-Killing Hydrogen Locomotive In California” • Dirty diesel fuel still holds a tight grip on the heavy duty transportation sector, but US rail companies may be poised to break free. The Sierra Northern Railway just got a $4 million grant for a zero emission switcher locomotive powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Groundbreaking H3X Motor Brings Electric Aircraft One Step Closer To Reality” • The startup H3X says it has developed a compact electric motor that develops more than 3 times the power and weighs less than most commercially available motors. It claims its HPDM 250 motor has an output of 13 kW per kg (7.924 hp per lb). [CleanTechnica]

H3X motor (Image courtesy of H3X)

¶ “Solar Panels And Water Canals Could Form A Real Power Couple In California” • California has around 4,000 miles of canals that move clean water through the state. Research shows that if solar panels are installed over the canals, they could both generate electricity and keep up to 63 billion gallons of water from evaporating. [Popular Science]

World:

¶ “Samsung Reaches 100% Renewable Power In The US, China, And Europe” • In June 2018, Samsung committed to having all its worksites in the US, China, and Europe rely on electricity from renewable resources exclusively by 2020. After reaching 92% in 2019, the company achieved its goal of 100% renewable energy for these worksites in 2020. [Samsung Newsroom]

Solar panels at parking lots in Samsung campuses

¶ “India Can Increase Renewable Target Of 2030: Researchers” • Researchers at UC Santa Barbara released a study that examines electricity and carbon mitigation costs associated with achieving aggressive renewable energy targets in India’s electricity grid in 2030. It finds that wind-majority or balanced wind-solar targets are most cost-effective. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Eni And Strathclyde To Support Transition Of Workforces To The Renewable Energy Sector” • The University of Strathclyde, Italian oil company Eni, and Eni Corporate University signed an agreement to create a program to help people working in the oil and gas sector in Scotland to transfer their skills to the renewable energy technologies. [University of Strathclyde]

Offshore wind turbines (Nicholas Doherty, Unsplash)

¶ “ReNew Commissions 300-MW Wind Power Project In Kutch District Of Gujarat” • ReNew Power commissioned a 300-MW wind project in Gujarat. With this project, ReNew’s total wind energy capacity in Gujarat increased to 950 MW. The project will supply power to districts in Haryana and Odisha at ₹2.44 per kWh (3.4¢/kWh). [Business Standard]

¶ “Renewables Outstrip Fossil Fuels In UK In 2020” • Data from the UK government show that renewable electricity generation surpassed fossil fuels for the first year ever in 2020, providing 43% of the country’s electricity. Fossil fuels generated 38.5%, says the Energy Trends report from the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Yoon, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Solar Is Cheapest Electricity In History, US DOE Aims To Cut Costs 60% By 2030” • Solar power costs have been coming down for decades. That long and significant trend has already led to solar power becoming the cheapest option for new electricity in the world. And the US DOE aims to cut utility-scale solar power plant costs by 60% by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pepsi Shares An Update On Its Tesla Semi Order” • In a press release, PepsiCo noted that its Frito-Lay division cut absolute fleet greenhouse gas emissions in half while reducing the use of diesel by 78% at its California production site. Pepsi said, “The remaining 15 electric tractors expected to deploy later this year,” referring to the Tesla Semi. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Semi

¶ “Virginia Drives Into A Cleaner Future” • Virginia Governor Northam signed into law a bill to join 17 other states that have adopted or are considering adoption of a “Clean Cars” program, setting the Commonwealth up to become the leader in EVs in the South. This will give new car buyers a chance to choose to save money with an EV. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Facebook And General Motors Use The Solar Farm To Power Facilities” • In Kentucky, a new Tennessee Valley Authority solar farm will provide Facebook’s regional data center operations with 145 MW of solar power and General Motors’ Bowling Green Assembly, exclusive home of the Chevrolet Corvette, with 28 MW of solar power. [The Chattanoogan]

Have a shockingly shipshape day.

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March 25 Energy News

March 25, 2021

World:

¶ “Volvo Invests In Driivz” • Driivz, an EV charging software company, has been picking up investment partners for a few years. The news this week is that Volvo Group Venture Capital has sunk an investment into Driivz. Driivz has a very scaleable approach to EV charging software, a solid framework, and a highly regarded track record. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo XC40 Recharge (Volvo image, cropped)

¶ “Queensland Government Establishes Energy Council To Fast-Track Renewable Energy Projects” • Queensland’s Palaszczuk Government announced that it will form a Ministerial Energy Council. It is hoped that a range of projects will be created as it collaborates with industry to boost the state by creating around 570,000 jobs. [Energy Matters]

¶ “New Wind Capacity Hits 93 GW In 2020” • The wind industry installed 93 GW of new capacity in 2020, up 53% from 2019, a report from the Global Wind Energy Council shows. The global wind power market has nearly quadrupled in size over the past decade with record growth in 2020 driven largely by China and the US, the report found. [reNEWS]

Wind blade installation (GWEC image)

¶ “Fred Olsen Gets Consent For Two Scottish Wind Extensions” • Fred Olsen Renewables has been granted planning consent for two projects; the Windy Standard 3 wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway and Crystal Rig Wind Farm in Scottish Borders. Windy Standard will see its capacity increased to 154 MW, and Crystal Rig to 262 MW. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australian Renewable Agency Approves Funding For Pumped Hydro Plant” • ARENA committed to provide A$47 million for Genex Power’s Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Hydro Energy Storage project in Queensland. The proposed A$777 million project, with a capacity of 250 MW, 2,000 MWh, would be built at the former Kidston Gold Mine. [Power Technology]

Pumped hydro dam (Arpingstone, released to public domain)

¶ “Expert Insights Driving Forward Renewable Power” • Separate studies by Imperial academics commissioned through Imperial Consultants by energy companies Drax and SSE Renewables have offered expert insights into the energy technologies that are needed to help the UK meet its target of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. [Imperial College London]

¶ “Japan Regulatory Body Bans Nuke Fuel Transportation” • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority decided to ban transporting nuclear fuel to the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture owing to the plant’s “severe security breaches.” The plant’s intruder detection and backup systems were found to be defective. [News Track English]

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant (D a, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Philly Wants To Wean Off Gas. The City-Owned Gas Utility Is Refusing To Go Along” • City-owned Philadelphia Gas Works has sided with the gas industry against proposals that would help the city achieve its emissions goals. Documents obtained through a public records request show that PGW devoted ratepayer dollars to trade groups opposing electrification. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Startup Backed By Bill Gates Will Soon Help Power A Giant Mine” • Heliogen announced that mining behemoth Rio Tinto plans to deploy the startup’s solar concentrated solar technology at California’s largest open pit mine, located in Boron. Heliogen says this will be the first CST used to power a mine in the US, and perhaps the world. [CNN]

CST heliostat array (Heliogen image)

¶ “Tesla, Lucid, Rivian, And Other EV Makers Scored A Win In Connecticut” • A Connecticut state bill, SB-127, would enable EV makers to sell directly to their customers and bypass the old dealership model, as is done in many other states. Now, there is the good news that SB-127 passed the committee vote, but there is still a long road ahead. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EIA’s AEO2021 Shows Growing Use Of Batteries On The US Electricity Grid” • The Energy Information Administration’s “Annual Energy Outlook 2021” projects a significant amounts of battery energy storage will be added to the grid. In the reference case, which reflects current laws and regulations, there will be 59 GW of US battery storage in 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Projected growth of batteries (EIA image)

¶ “Annova LNG Discontinues LNG Project” • Due to changes in the global LNG market, Annova LNG announced the immediate discontinuation of its liquified natural gas export facility under development in Brownsville, Texas. The company had proposed building a 6.5 MTPA liquified natural gas export facility at the Port of Brownsville. [BIC Magazine]

¶ “Memphis Elected Officials Reject Byhalia Pipeline” • In Tennessee, the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission both took actions to protect the community from the impacts of the Byhalia Connection, the proposed pipeline that would carry crude oil through Southwest Memphis and Northern Mississippi. [Clean Energy News]

Memphis Bridge (Terrance Raper, Unsplash)

¶ “LA On Track To Have A Fully Renewable Energy Power Grid By 2045” • Los Angeles may be on track to reach its ambitious and unprecedented goal of creating a power supply of 100% renewable electricity by 2045 and possibly sooner. Research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory says that this goal is achievable if LA stays on track. [Courthouse News]

¶ “Invenergy Completes Financing Of 999-MW US Project” • Invenergy completed construction financing for its largest wind energy development to date, the 999-MW Traverse Wind Energy Center. Traverse will be built in Custer, Blaine, and Kingfisher Counties in Oklahoma, as part of the 1485-MW North Central Wind Energy Facilities. [reNEWS]

Have a dazzlingly magnificent day.

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March 24 Energy News

March 24, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Our Survival Depends On Treating Nature With More Respect” • Intersecting and escalating crises – disruption of our climate, the collapse of biodiversity, the declining health of the ocean and the depletion of natural resources – demonstrate clearly that we cannot continue on our current path. We are the authors of our own misfortune. [CNN]

Disapproving kingfisher (Vincent van Zalinge, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Clean Planet Energy Makes Fuels For Airplanes & Ships From Non-Recyclable Plastics” • The twin scourges of the modern world are carbon emissions and plastic waste. What if there was a way to take some of that plastic waste and turn it into clean burning fuels for aircraft and ships? Clean Planet Energy says it is doing just that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Rivers That ‘Breathe’ Greenhouse Gases” • Rivers are a surprisingly large source of greenhouse gases, and pollution makes their emissions many times worse. On the surface, the New Territories appear to be Hong Kong’s green lung, but the reality is rather more disconcerting. It is releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases. [BBC]

New Territories (Ivan Theodoulou, Unsplash, cropped)

World:

¶ “Australia floods: Saving a home from fires only to lose it in floods” • Rob Costigan, an Australian farmer, has lost his dream home in the floods currently coursing through the nation. What makes the loss additionally brutal is that the family spent a week fighting hard to save their homes from Australia’s bushfires, just a year ago. [BBC]

¶ “World’s Biggest Coal Company Bets On Solar Power” • The world’s largest coal mining firm is to “aggressively” pursue solar energy and continue to close smaller mines. Coal India Limited plans to invest in a 3,000-MW solar project in a joint venture with state-run NLC India. It marks a major shift for CIL, which produces most of India’s coal. [BBC]

Solar array (Antonio Garcia, Unsplash)

¶ “Banishing Coal For Power Holds Key To India’s Net-Zero Goal” • India must phase out its coal-fired power plants by the middle of this century to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by that time, according to a report published by The Energy and Resources Institute, a New Delhi-based think-tank, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. [The Indian Express]

¶ “Kraków Starts Receiving Electric Buses From Solaris” • The Polish city of Kraków ordered 50 electric buses from the Polish bus company Solaris last year. Those buses are now beginning to get delivered. The city already had 28 electric buses, among 366 other non-electric Solaris buses. So, Kraków is turning to electric buses, but still has a way to go. [CleanTechnica]

Solaris buses in Kraków

¶ “China To Adapt Power Generation To Run On Hydrogen” • China aims to retrofit coal-based utilities to shift from coal to hydrogen for power generation, targeting 100 GW of hydrogen-based generation capacity by 2050, and doubling that by 2060, according to Global Energy Interconnection Development & Cooperation Organization. [Upstream Online]

¶ “300-MW Green Hydrogen Plant Planned For Brazilian Port” • Porto do Açu Operações SA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fortescue Future Industries to conduct feasibility studies on a 300-MW green hydrogen plant at the Port of Açu in Brazil. It would produce 250,000 metric tons of green ammonia. [Power Engineering International]

Porto do Açu (Porto do Açu Operações SA image, cropped)

¶ “Australia Set To Reach Carbon Net-Zero Target A Decade Sooner Than Others” • Australia has had rapid uptake of small solar systems, while large-scale renewable projects accelerate our push towards a net-zero carbon future. Australian National University engineering found that Australia could likely reach net-zero emissions by 2040. [Energy Matters]

US:

¶ “St Louis Initiates Electric Transition” • St Louis is setting a brisk pace on its path toward clean transportation. In February, Mayor Lyda Krewson signed an executive order that formally begins the transition for the city fleet, requiring city departments to prioritize acquiring EVs over conventional vehicles as part of the city’s carbon neutrality efforts. [CleanTechnica]

St Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson signing Executive Order

¶ “Castañer, Puerto Rico Selected For Solar Energy Microgrid Project” • The village of Castañer, Puerto Rico was selected for a solar energy microgrid project, as part of an initiative led by The Solar Foundation and Pathstone Corp to strengthen and expand the solar industry in Puerto Rico and to make its communities more resilient. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hyundai EV Buyers Get Free Ultrafast Charging With Electrify America” • People who buy a 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric or Hyundai Ioniq Electric are now given 250 kWh of free ultrafast charging on the Electrify America network. Hyundai estimates that 250 kWh comes out to about 1,000 miles of range (based on the EPA ratings). [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Ioniq charging (Image courtesy of Hyundai)

¶ “FERC Adopts GHG Review in Natural Gas Order” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has incorporated a review of climate change impacts in a natural gas certificate decision, sparking a sharp debate among the commissioners over the major policy implications for future infrastructure projects under its purview. [Natural Gas Intelligence]

¶ “Fed, Treasury Vow To Evaluate Climate Change Risk To Financial System” • Two top Federal Reserve officials and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reaffirmed the government’s commitment to assessing the risks that climate change pose to the financial system. The Federal Reserve will form a Financial Stability Climate Committee. [American Banker]

Have a hugely successful day.

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March 23 Energy News

March 23, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Europe’s Biggest Flying Lab Is Tackling Our Toughest Environmental Challenges” • The Airborne Laboratory can be found in skies around the world. Its research it is helping us better understand challenges like air pollution, climate change and extreme weather. It is operated by the UK’s Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements. [CNN]

Airborne Laboratory (Image courtesy of FAAM)

¶ “Waves To Water Prize: NREL Team To De-Risk Desal Device Deployment” • With support from the US DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office, a five-stage, $3.3 million contest aims to accelerate innovation in small, modular, wave-powered systems for desalination and production of clean water for water-scarce areas and disaster recovery. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “India Has Ambitious Plan For Developing More Renewable Energy, But Needs To Aim Higher” • India, with its growing economy and a population of more than 1.3 billion, epitomizes a trend toward higher electricity demand. The country finds itself at a crossroads regarding its energy future: Small decisions today will resound in the coming years. [Eurasia Review]

Solar plant in India (Ggn77, released to the public domain)

¶ “Scatec Unveils $11.8 Billion Renewable Energy Investment Plan” • Norwegian renewable energy producer Scatec plans to invest 100 billion Norwegian crowns ($11.8 billion) by the end of 2025 in a drive to increase output capacity fivefold, the company said. Scatec has maintained its goal of having a capacity of 4.5 GW by the end of 2021. [Nasdaq]

¶ “The Home Of Canada’s Energy Sector Is Set To Outpace The Country In Renewables Growth: Forecast” • Alberta, the home of Canada’s oil and gas industry, is expected to lead the country in renewable energy growth, according to the Canada Energy Regulator. Its short-term outlook offers a glimpse of Canada’s electricity future. [CBC.ca]

Wind turbines in Alberta (dave_7, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Australia:

¶ “Will Australia’s States Save The Day On Climate And The Clean Energy Transition?” • A report by WWF Australia provides a valuable update on the weighting of effort and ambition across different levels of government in Australia. It highlights that all is not lost, even as Australia’s resistant federal government seems to dig in deeper. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Lifespan Of Australia’s Longest Gas Pipeline Sharply Reduced As Renewable Energy Turns Heat Up On Fossil Fuels” • The company that owns Australia’s longest natural gas pipeline wants to bring its effective end-of-life forward from 2090 to 2063, saying renewable energy could make the business unviable decades ahead of schedule. [ABC News]

Dampier to Bunbury gas pipeline (Supplied by DBP)

¶ “Feasibility Study On Export Of South Australian Green Hydrogen To Rotterdam” • The South Australian Government and the Port of Rotterdam Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding to undertake a feasibility study for exporting green hydrogen made in South Australia to Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port. [Premier of South Australia]

US:

¶ “Offshore Wind ‘Could Deliver 166% Of Texas Power'” • Texas could have 166% of its electricity needs covered by offshore wind, a report from the Environment Texas Research & Policy Center says. The report also said that 19 of the 29 states with offshore wind potential could produce more electricity from it than they used in 2019. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Insung Yoon, Unsplash)

¶ “Solar, Wind, Coal, Nuclear, And Natural Gas US Electricity Generation Changes 2010–2020” • How has the US electricity generation from solar, wind, coal, natural gas, and nuclear shifted in the past 11 years? With official US electricity generation in for 2020, we can graph US electricity generation to show its changes from 2010 through 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wolf Administration To Buy Half Of State Government’s Electricity From Solar” • Pennsylvania’s Wolf Administration says it is making the largest government commitment to solar energy in the country, by agreeing to buy power from seven new solar projects in the state. A 15-year PPA will cover about half the state government’s electricity. [StateImpact Pennsylvania]

Solar field (Rachel McDevitt, StateImpact Pennsylvania)

¶ “DOE Awards $27.5 Million To Sixteen Teams Working To Decarbonize US Water Infrastructure” • The US DOE announced awards totaling $27.5 million for 16 water infrastructure projects in 13 states that have potential to reduce carbon emissions and water-treatment costs while improving water quality and equity of distribution nationwide. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vermont ‘Digester’ Harvests Renewable Gas, Like Cow Manure And Food Waste, For Cooking” • Without any odor or fanfare, the methane wrung from the manure of 900 cows and organic waste from regional cheese, beer, coffee, and ice cream plants will enter the Vermont Gas Systems pipelines by mid-spring, the utility says. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]

Goodrich Farm (Courtesy of Vanguard Renewables)

¶ “Berea Police Force Goes Electric With Tesla Model 3s” • This month, the Berea police department became the first in the state of Kentucky and one of the few in the nation to add EVs to its fleet. The department unveiled the vehicles at a special event, ushering in a new era of high-tech less polluting patrols for the Appalachian city. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BMW Group And PG&E Plug In To Leverage Renewable Energy And Sustainably Power Electric Vehicles” • BMW Group and Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced an expanded partnership, ChargeForward, to increase use of renewable energy to power EVs. It will offer customers incentives while optimizing EV charging. [automobilsport.com]

Have a copacetically upbeat day.

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March 22 Energy News

March 22, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Have Rosy Forecasts About The Legacy Energy Industry Created A Financial Bubble?” • We’ve heard a lot lately about a “bubble” in Tesla and other EV-related stocks. But a report from the independent think tank RethinkX argues that a far more dangerous bubble exists around conventional coal, gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric energy assets. [CleanTechnica]

Fracking in the Permian Basin (Rhod08, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “I Agree With Bernie’s Core Message, And With Elon Musk’s Push For Universal Basic Income” • Elon Musk responded to an article about economic inequality that appeared in CleanTechnica, which led to Bernie (and a bunch of other people in politics) responding to both Elon and the article. Here are some serious points that should be made. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Big Oil’s Lies About Pollution Health Risks Contributed To Millions Of Deaths” • Thanks to a report by The Guardian, we now know the major oil companies knew all about health risks from fine particulate matter for decades, but instead of doing anything about the problem, they poured their money into disinformation campaigns. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution from particulates (Center For Disease Control)

¶ “Tribal Regulatory Authority To Combat Climate Change” • There are many examples showing that US laws and policies disproportionally make climate change a burden on American Indians, just as it unfairly endangers other people of color. If the Congress can’t act on climate change, it should at least enable Indian tribes to do so. [The Regulatory Review]

World:

¶ “Lithium And Other Battery Mineral Experts: 30–50% EV Market Share In 2030 Is An Upper Limit” • Naturally, my top hope would be getting someone to tell me, “Oh, yeah, we could reach 100% EV market share in 2030.” Or even 70% or so. But that’s just not the reality of the battery supply chain according to everyone I’ve talked to. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla at a supercharger (Placed into the public domain)

¶ “How The World’s Biggest Emitters Are Adopting Solar Power At Record Levels” • As president, Donald Trump claimed that solar and wind power were not up to the job. Now, the truth can be revealed. The world’s top three emitters, including the US, are all defying his claims, with record levels of new solar and other renewable energy sources. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Solar, Wind Power To Drive Renewable Energy Growth This Year” • Renewable energy installations of solar, wind, and storage facilities are set to rise by 40% year on year to another record 190 GW globally this year. This is an acceleration from a 30% on-year expansion in 2020 that happened despite project delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. [The Sun Daily]

Solar array in Colorado (Science in HD, Unsplash)

Australia:

¶ “Infinite Blue Energy, Port Anthony Renewables Unite To Build World-Class Green Hydrogen Hub In Victoria” • Infinite Blue Energy and Port Anthony Renewables agreed to a partnership to develop a world-leading green hydrogen facility in Victoria. The joint venture is to build Australia’s first independently owned commercial large-scale hydrogen facility. [Stockhead]

¶ “Australia Floods: Thousands Evacuated As Downpours Worsen” • About 18,000 Australians have been evacuated from flooding across New South Wales as heavy rain batters the east coast and is expected to continue to do so. Scientists say that climate change is intensifying the impact of La Niña, and making weather patterns more erratic. [BBC]

Rescuing a family in Sydney (Western Sydney SES)

¶ “Former Emergency Chiefs: Climate Change Pushing Flood Events To Unprecedented Extremes” • Former emergency chiefs have warned that climate change is worsening extreme rainfall and flood events such as the current situation in New South Wales and Queensland, putting immense pressure on emergency response services and communities. [Mirage News]

¶ “Massive Mineral Sands Project Made More Viable By Solar-Hybrid Energy Supply” • Strandline Resources, a developer of heavy mineral sands, has inked a 15-year offtake agreement with Contract Power Australia, for energy from a hybrid gas and solar energy power station to be developed close to a proposed facility in Western Australia. [pv magazine International]

Solar+battery system (Contract Power Australia image)

¶ “Investor Sentiment In Australian Renewables Turns To The Overwhelmingly Positive!” • A report by law firm MinterEllison, and based on the opinions of 100 renewable energy investors, finds that investors are overwhelmingly positive about Australian renewables, and that solar PV is viewed as a leading technology as thermal generation retires. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “Rivian Planning 10,000 New EV Chargers By 2023” • Rivian is planning to install 10,000 new EV chargers, “Rivian Waypoint chargers,” in the US and Canada by 2023. These will be Level 2 AC chargers, not the DC fast chargers, and they will charge more slowly, but they will be operational for all vehicles that have J1772 connections. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian pickup (Photo by Jeff Johnson, courtesy of Rivian)

¶ “$98 Million Solar Farm Pitched In Louisiana” • A subsidiary of Recurrent Energy Development Holdings, Bayou Galion Solar Projfect LLC, has proposed a 98.1-MW solar farm for 1,000 acres leased outside of Bastrop. It could power almost 21,000 homes. Interest in solar farms has increased since Entergy announced it was looking for renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RNG Produced by Anaergia from Diverted Landfill Waste Now Flowing through SoCalGas System” • Southern California Gas Co and Anaergia, Inc announced that the renewable natural gas produced from diverted landfill waste is now flowing into the SoCalGas’ pipeline system from the Rialto Bioenergy Facility in San Bernardino County. [waste360]

Have a persistently amusing day.

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March 21 Energy News

March 21, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “South Florida’s Dirty Secret Is Oil” • “Paradise Coast” is how the tourism industry often refers to parts of south Florida. As many city dwellers flee states with cold winters and expensive costs of living looking to quarantine in this paradise, there is a dirty little secret lurking in the Florida swamp. It is impending oil development. [CleanTechnica]

Naples, Florida (Bailey Rapp, Unsplash)

¶ “Electric Vehicles: The Imperfect Solution We Need Right Now” • Electric vehicles are not a perfect answer, but they’re one of the answers we have in response to the climate crisis. I worry that if we only choose to support perfect solutions, we could fail to improve our situation at all, and our situation is far too dire for hesitation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Much Does Volkswagen’s Bi-Directional Charging Innovation Matter?” • One feature Volkswagen presented at its recent Power Day event that people got most excited about was bi-directional charging. Many EV enthusiasts have been into this for years, but it is almost non-existent on the consumer market. Here are some thoughts about that. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen’s Bi-Directional Charging

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Cofounder JB Straubel Aims To Solve A Key Problem Of E-Bike Batteries” • JB Straubel, a co-founder of Tesla as well as its former CTO, is the founder of Redwood Materials, which focuses on recycling electric car batteries. A report in The Verge says that Redwood Materials is teaming up with Specialized to recycle the e-bike industry’s batteries also. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Semi-Transparent Solar Cells Can Power Greenhouses Without Stunting Plant Growth” • Greenhouses fitted with semi-transparent solar cells can generate electricity without affecting the growth and health of the plants inside, according to a new study. This suggests we could build energy-neutral greenhouses without harming crops. [ScienceAlert]

Greenhouse (Harits Mustya Pratama, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “South Africa To Get Three Power Ships, Invest In Renewable Energy To Tackle Electricity Crisis” • South Africa has fresh plans to address its severe electricity crisis with three offshore power ships and greater use of solar and wind energy. For years, Eskom has had frequent power outages because of outdated equipment and reliance on coal and diesel. [Yahoo India News]

¶ “Cyprus’s Petrolina Partners With Lion Alternative Energy In Renewable Energy Projects” • Plans are underway to establish a major producer of renewable energy in Cyprus. Larnaca-based Petrolina Solar is partnering with Lion Alternative Energy, based in London, and will invest in an LAE private placement currently offered to qualified investors. [The National Herald]

Larnaca, Cyprus (Hert Niks, Unsplash)

¶ “Sambalpur University Makes Hay While The Sun Shines” • In the Indian state of Odisha, Sambalpur University’s endeavor to harness solar energy has not only helped it cut down on its energy bills but also get much better quality of power supply. The institution is powered by a 245 KW solar project made functional last year. [The New Indian Express]

¶ “Thunberg Joins Climate Protest In Stockholm” • Climate activist Greta Thunberg took part in a protest under the banner of “No More Empty Promises” in Stockholm. Fridays for Future, a youth movement that urges global leaders to listen to climate scientists and stop global warming, had called for a global online school strike on Friday. [Yahoo News]

Fridays for Future (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Connecticut’s SB 127 And The Fight For EV Freedom” • EV brands and legislators will hold a live press conference with local media in Connecticut on March 22 at the Westport Train Station, on the New Haven Bound Side. The issue is the outdated dealer franchise laws in Connecticut, which have plagued direct EV sales for almost a decade. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ARK Invest’s New Tesla Bull Case – $4 Trillion Market Cap, 10 Million Cars Sold In 2025” • ARK Invest was one of the early Tesla Bulls. It turned out they were right, and everyone else dramatically adjusted their expectations. Now, ARK Invest has a new Tesla price target. It is forecasting that Tesla will achieve a $4 trillion market cap. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Vlad Tchompalov, Unsplash)

¶ “Grant Program Proposal That Would Fund EV Charging Stations But Tax Electric Vehicles Advances In FL Senate” • WFSU Public Media reports that a proposal to support construction of more EV charging stations passed its first committee stop. This proposal would create funding for charging stations, paid for by increased EV license fees. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Acid Rain Is Leaving The Adirondacks, But Scientists Say Restoration Is Still A Long Way Off” • Scientists say data on acid rain collected at an observatory on the summit of Whiteface Mountain tell a success story stretching over the past fifty years, as acid rain has been reduced. But recovery from the problem will take time. [The Adirondack Daily Enterprise]

Crane Mountain, Adirondacks (Eva Darron, Unsplash)

¶ “With Offshore Wind, New Jersey Could Be Launching Its Biggest Job Creator ‘Since The Casinos’” • New Jersey is betting big on offshore wind, and not just to reduce carbon emissions. It has high hopes of becoming a dominant player in renewable energy on the East Coast and leading in manufacturing now dominated by Europe. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

¶ “City Of Milwaukee Unveils Solar Energy Project” • Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, along with other community leaders, unveiled the city’s new solar energy project, which is the largest solar energy system in Milwaukee’s history. The project spans nine acres and is located on a landfill close to General Mitchell Airport. [Milwaukee Courier Weekly Newspaper]

Have a wonderfully rewarding day.

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March 20 Energy News

March 20, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Federal Oil & Gas Leasing Needs Fixing” • President Biden’s executive order focused on climate change is forward-looking. Among many actions spanning the entire federal government, the order places a pause – not a ban – on new oil and gas leases. It applies to actions not yet taken, and in most cases, not even planned. [CleanTechnica]

Oil rig (WORKSITE Ltd, Unsplash)

¶ “Shocking Censorship Patterns Of Federal Environmental Agency Websites Under Trump” • The Environmental Data and Governance Initiative has documented and analyzed changes to federal environmental websites over the past four years. It found an alarming effort to censor or manipulate information about environmental issues and laws. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Renewables Investment Return Seven Times Higher Than Fossil Fuels” • Renewable power investment continues to outperform fossil fuel investment across the globe, the latest research shows. This signals a decline of fossil fuel investment. IRENA has projected achieving Paris targets will require $4.4 trillion a year into low carbon energy. [Forbes]

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “NREL, NASA, And European Researchers Reveal Path To Even Safer Lithium-Ion Batteries” • Working with researchers at NASA and in Europe, National Renewable Energy Laboratory scientists found a way to prevent thermal runaway, a dangerous chain reaction in lithium-ion batteries. Their paper is in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vanadium Flow Battery Benefits For Our Future (Interview)” • “Vanadium batteries will enable more efficient use of electricity by enabling better matching of supply and demand. This will enhance the efficiency and utilization of renewable generation such as solar and wind, as well as conventional generation from fossil fuels and nuclear power.” [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Denny Müller on Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Empowered By Light Recycles Old EV Batteries For Microgrid Applications” • Leilani Münter tweeted that she loved a Light Empowered battery installation showing possibilities for reusing old EV batteries for microgrids. Lithium-ion batteries from an electric bus in China are now helping power a school with solar PVs in Western Zambia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Distilleries Toast Government Green Support” • Whisky and spirit producers from Orkney to Cornwall could benefit from a share of almost £9 million in government support aimed at driving forward plans to create low-carbon distilleries. Twelve distilleries in Scotland and five in England will be able to bid for further grants up to £3 million. [reNEWS]

Whisky bottles (Paul Byrne, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewables: Promising Project Pipeline Amid Tepid Capacity Addition Brings Cheer” • Even though renewable sector may well fall short of India’s capacity addition target this fiscal, a robust pipeline of projects in implementation and bidding stages gives hope. Projects worth 50.15 GW capacity are at various stages of implementation. [The Hindu BusinessLine]

¶ “Amazon Announces First Renewable Energy Project In Singapore” • Amazon has announced its first renewable energy project in Singapore, buying energy from the solar provider Sunseap Group. The installation is noteworthy, as Sunseap will deploy mobile solar systems on temporarily vacant land and redeploy them as needed. [DatacenterDynamics]

Buildings in Singapore (Kelvin Zyteng, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Governor Cuomo Announces Construction Start Of $180 Million Transmission Line In Niagara And Erie Counties” • New York Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced that construction began on the Empire State Line, a $180 million upgrade for the energy transmission system in western New York with a new 20 mile, 345-kV transmission line. [ny.gov]

¶ “Schlumberger New Energy Is Launching A Lithium Extraction Pilot Plant In Nevada” • Schlumberger New Energy announced its plans to develop a lithium extraction pilot plant in Nevada. NeoLith Energy, a new SNE venture, uses a differentiated direct lithium extraction process to produce battery-grade lithium material comparatively quickly. [CleanTechnica]

Nevada site (Image courtesy of Schlumberger New Energy)

¶ “South Fork Wind Project Receives Critical Vote” • The New York State Public Service Commission has unanimously voted to grant the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for New York’s South Fork Wind Farm. The South Fork Wind Farm, with 15 turbines, is to be New York’s first offshore wind farm. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “New Solar Farm Piles Even More Green Onto Green Energy” • Solar farms have become revenue lifelines for farmers. Now the biggest agrivoltaic research project in the US is taking shape in Boulder County, Colorado. Instead of a bed of gravel under the solar panels, Jack’s Solar Garden will have plants for people, animals, birds, and insects to eat. [CleanTechnica]

Byron Kominek of Jack’s Solar Garden (Werner Slocum, NREL)

¶ “Park City Could Be Years Ahead Of The 2030 Date For 100% Renewable Energy With State Renewable Program” • According to a report by city staff, Park City, Utah could be several years ahead of schedule for their goal of attaining 100% renewable energy city-wide by 2030. City council had an update on the Utah Renewable Energy Program. [KPCW]

¶ “Southern Announces Delay In Testing At Vogtle” • Southern Co has announced another delay in hot functional testing for the first unit of its two-unit expansion at the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia. Southern Nuclear, the nuclear power subsidiary of Southern Co, “continues to target a November 2021 in-service date for Unit 3.” [Power Magazine]

Have an unqualifiedly ducky day.

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March 19 Energy News

March 19, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “2020 US Power Report Card: Solar And Wind Getting High Scores” • Government data shows that renewable resources surpassed coal in 2020 to become the third-largest source of US electricity. Continuing promising trends from 2019, solar and wind energy made strong gains, and there was a steep reduction in power sector pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Image courtesy of Array Technologies)

¶ “UK Government Cannot Rely On Ineffective UN Airline CO₂ Deal After Scathing Analysis” • A global agreement designed to tackle airline emissions could actually undermine climate efforts, according to an EU study obtained by Transport & Environment. Under the Corsia deal, airlines would be allowed to pay to offset growth of carbon pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Report Finds That ‘Advanced’ Nuclear Reactor Designs Are No Better Than Current Reactors – And Some Are Worse” • A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed the designs of a number of  “advanced” nuclear reactors being developed. It says that they are no better, and in some respects significantly worse, than what we have. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Vermont Yankee nuclear plant (NRC, CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

World:

¶ “Tesla Giga Berlin Production To Start In Late July Or August” • According to our German friend on the ground there, it was said at a meeting of the Brandenburg Committee for Infrastructure and Regional Planning that the Tesla Giga Berlin will commence production in late July, or August at the latest. This is somewhat earlier than we expected. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Plugin Vehicle Market Share Grows In Italy, +123% Year Over Year In February” • The growth of EVs continues in Europe. As car markets find their way out of the pandemic, EVs increase market share month after month. Italy saw stronger sales in February following a soft start to the year and EVs continued to replace traditional powertrains. [CleanTechnica]

Fiat 500e

¶ “Coles Snubs Coal And Gas And Commits To 100% Renewables By 2025” • Coles has become the latest Australian supermarket giant to set ambitious climate targets. The chain is to be 100% powered by renewables after adopting a new goal to purchase all of its power from sources like wind and solar. Supermarkets use large amounts of energy. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Bermuda Buys 30 Electric Buses” • The Government of Bermuda’s Department of Transportation announced the approval of the purchase of 30 electric buses to replace aged diesel buses and transition toward a zero-emissions fleet. The purchase represents replacement of over one-third of the total public bus fleet. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric buses in Chile (Image courtesy of BYD)

¶ “New Report Identifies Digitalization As Renewable Energy Driver” • A report from Spanish software company RatedPower suggests digitalization has the potential to transform the entire energy supply chain with solar PV set to lead a renewable energy charge to record levels in 2021. This follows unexpected growth in renewables in 2020. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Apple Says Its $4.7 Billion Green Bonds Will Create 1.2 GW Of Renewable Power” • Apple added 350 MW of renewable capacity in 2020, due to projects in its planned $4.7 billion Green Bond program, according to a report on its investor site. All told, the Bond program is due to generate 1.2 GW of wind and solar power around the world. [DatacenterDynamics]

Apple’s Turquiose Nevada solar farm (Apple image)

¶ “EnBW Turns Sod On 300-MW German Solar” • EnBW has begun construction of two subsidy-free photovoltaic projects totalling 300 MW in Brandenburg, Germany. The two projects, 150 MW each, are located just under 40 km away, in Alttrebbin and Gottesgabe, in the Markisch-Oderland district. EnBW expects construction to take one year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Vattenfall Inks HKZ Offtake With Air Liquide” • Vattenfall has signed its first power contract for the 1500 MW Hollandse Kust Zuid offshore wind farm with Air Liquide. Air Liquide will buy 100 GWh of electricity per year from the project located off the Dutch coast. Air Liquide will use the electricity to power its factories in the Netherlands. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Vattenfall image)

US:

¶ “EPA Relaunches Climate Change Website Previously Modified By Trump Administration” • The EPA announced that it has relaunched its climate change website as part of efforts by the Biden administration to tackle the climate crisis. The Trump administration had changed various EPA websites to remove language about climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Two Bills Introduced In Congress To Address Abandoned Mine Lands” • The RECLAIM Act and a bill to reauthorize the Abandoned Mine LandFund were reintroduced in the US House by Rep Matt Cartwright (D-PA). These bills, if passed, would provide an immediate economic boost by employing thousands of people across the country. [CleanTechnica]

Abandoned Mines

¶ “Facebook Announces 10th And 11th Data Centers At Prineville, Oregon Campus Amid Renewable Energy Fight” • Facebook has announced it is expanding its Prineville data center campus again, though recent regulation changes could affect its ability to offset its use of fossil fuels and prevent it from using energy certificates in the state. [DatacenterDynamics]

¶ “US Solar Duo Switch On 200-MW Georgia PV Portfolio” • A US solar partnership has delivered a 200-MW PV portfolio that spans three utility-scale projects in Georgia. The portfolio has been developed by Green Power EMC, the renewable energy provider for 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corporations, and Shell’s solar platform Silicon Ranch. [reNEWS]

Have a radically resplendent day.

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March 18 Energy News

March 18, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Rooftop Solar In California Is Ready To Take The Next Step” • California leads the nation in fighting climate change because of state policies that have accelerated clean energy investment. As clean energy blooms in California, these policies need to mature and evolve to continue to be effective. That includes the case of solar net metering. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar system (Angie Warren, Unsplash)

¶ “Why The West Is Worried About China’s Renewable Energy Dominance” • The 2020 BP Statistical Review of World Energy says installed PV capacity grew at an average annual rate of over 42% over the past 10 years, doubling the global capacity about every 1.7 years. It is a market dominated by China. And it is used for gathering intelligence. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “From Wet Waste To Flight: Scientists Announce Fast-Track Solution For Net-Zero-Carbon Sustainable Aviation Fuel” • The aircraft sector has been seen as difficult to decarbonize. That task just got a burst of energy with the publication of a new paper on carbon-negative sustainable aviation fuel in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [CleanTechnica]

NREL laboratory (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “To Save The Planet, Tide Wants You To Quit Using Warm Water For Laundry” • Doing your laundry with cold water can help save the planet, according to Tide. If North Americans do three out of every four loads of laundry with cold water it will have the same impact on greenhouse gas emissions as taking about a million cars off the road for a year. [CNN]

¶ “February’s Extreme Cold and Unusual Warming Highlights New ‘Climate Norms’, Say Experts” • NOAA confirmed that the Earth just had its coldest February in seven years, mainly due to the extremely cold temperatures in North America and northern Asia. What’s worrisome is that even so, it was the eighth warmest winter in the last 142 years. [The Weather Channel]

Snow in Texas (Thomas Park, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “BMW IX And BMW I4 – BMW’s Next-Gen Electric Offerings” • BMW has made a couple of electric vehicle announcements, showing us that it’s still alive even after the massive electric vehicle offensive Volkswagen rolled out this week. In particular, the company unveiled its two next-gen electric vehicles, the BMW i4 and the BMW iX. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A 5,000-Mile Living Wall Could Hold Back The World’s Largest Desert” • Because the Sahara Desert is expanding, the African Union launched an ambitious plan to hold it back and protect the Sahel area in 2007. The Great Green Wall initiative now hopes to restore 100 million hectares of land with a mosaic vegetation types over the next decade. [CNN]

Building the Great Green Wall (MAKE Waves image)

¶ “Spain, SEAT, And Iberdrola Will Use EU Funds For EV Battery Factory” • Spain plans to use funding from the EU to create a public-private consortium with Volkswagen Group’s SEAT, based in Spain, and the power company Iberdrola to build Spain’s first EV battery factory, according to Reyes Maroto, Spain’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Audi Gives Up On Combustion Engine Development – This Is Awesome” • Audi is abandoning its development of combustion engines, Electrive reported. The article cited an interview that CEO Markus Duesmann held with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in which he confirmed that Audi is no longer developing internal combustion engines. [CleanTechnica]

Audi e-tron (Audi courtesy image)

¶ “Renewable Returns Tripled Versus Fossil Fuels In Last Decade” • Investing in renewable power stocks beat a fossil fuel-focused strategy by more than threefold in the last decade. Superior returns from green power could help push investors to provide the capital necessary to scale up low-carbon power sources in the coming years, an analysis shows. [Financial Post]

¶ “Acciona To Develop 923-MW Wind Project In Australia” • Acciona and international metals group Korea Zinc have reached an agreement to jointly develop the 923MW MacIntyre Wind Farm in Queensland, Australia. MacIntyre is one of the largest renewable energy projects in Australia, and the largest energy project in Acciona’s portfolio. [reNEWS]

Acciona wind farm (Image courtesy of Acciona)

US:

¶ “EV Connect Pilots Large US V2G Project” • EV Connect is partnering with Indiana’s Battery Innovation Center and Energy Systems Network to create a large scale vehicle to grid system for school bus and heavy duty truck fleets. Data from the project will help answer questions about the impacts V2G systems will have on battery packs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BLM rebukes Trump, advances large-scale California solar project” • The Biden administration will study what could be the first solar power project inside a California renewable energy zone, just a week after nixing a Trump-era proposal that critics say would have undermined the intent of the zone to balance development and wildlife protection. [E&E News]

Solar panels (Tom Brewster Photography, BLM)

¶ “Blue Bird Delivers Its 400th Electric School Bus” • Blue Bird has delivered its 400th electric school bus in North America. The next 400 will come much quicker than the first 400. Blue Bird expects to have 1,000 electric school buses delivered some time in 2022. It was just in December that we reported on Blue Bird selling its 300th electric school bus. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rhode Island To Reach All-Renewable Electricity By 2030 Under Proposed Law” • A bill before the Rhode Island Senate would speed up the state’s transition to renewable electricity. Its announcement comes just one day after the Senate voted in favor of a bill that would step up the state’s carbon reduction effort, reaching net-zero by 2050. [Patch.com]

Have a thoroughly enjoyable day.

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March 17 Energy News

March 17, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The Human Right That Benefits Nature” • More than 100 constitutions across the world have adopted a human right to a healthy environment, which is proving to be a powerful way to protect the natural world. A clean and healthy environment is human need for life, as are balanced ecosystems, biodiversity, and other elements of nature. [BBC]

Nature (fan yang, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Experts Warn Corporate Climate Modeling Lacks Public Transparency” • As firms respond to growing calls for climate risk disclosure, a cottage industry of consultants has emerged to provide it, but with methodology often hidden from public view and expert scrutiny. Experts warn that the modeling should be publicly verifiable. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Magna Introduces EBeam Electric Rear Axle For Pickup Trucks” • Engineers at Magna, based in Canada, asked themselves a question. What if we got rid of the differential, put an electric motor in its place, and made the rear axle assembly as easy to install as a conventional unit? Behold, the EBeam axle, which is explained here in a video. [CleanTechnica]

Electric axle (Image courtesy of Magna)

¶ “Japan On Track To Soon Reach Its Target For Renewable Power” • Japan appears on track to hit its target for renewable energy soon. Renewables accounted for 21.7% of Japan’s total power generation in 2020, according to a preliminary report released by the International Energy Agency. Japan’s goal is 22% to 24% in 2030. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶ “Iberdrola makes second Japanese offshore investment” • Now, Iberdrola has made a second investment in the Japanese offshore wind market, this time a new 600-MW project. Under the deal, the Spanish investor will work with local developer Cosmo Eco Power and engineering firm Hitz to jointly develop the Seihoku-oki project in Aomori prefecture. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Zoltan Tasi, Unsplash)

¶ “Australia’s Biggest Coal State Could Reach 100% Renewables By 2030, Reputex Says” • New South Wales, the state with the biggest grid in Australia in terms of demand, and the heaviest reliance on coal power in Australia, could reach 100% renewable energy by 2030, a report by Reputex says. It is an ambitious but achievable goal. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Guernsey’s Electricity Is 100% Renewable” • All of Guernsey’s electricity that was imported from France last year was from renewable sources. The utility company, Guernsey Electricity, has received verification of its Guarantees of Origin certificate, which shows where in France the electricity was produced, and how, over the past 12 months. [ITV News]

Guernsey (Man vyi, released into the public domain)

¶ “419.74 MW Installed in February, Renewable Capacity in India at 92.97 GW” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has issued a monthly summary for the Cabinet for the month of February 2021. It says that 419.74 MW of renewable capacity was installed in February, and total renewable energy capacity in India has reached 92.97 GW. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Statkraft Wraps Up 1-GW Fosen Project” • Statkraft completed Europe’s largest onshore wind project, the 1057-MW Fosen wind development comprising 277 turbines across six wind farms in Norway. The wind farms are in the Trondelag region of Norway, on the country’s west coast. They will supply up to 3.6 TWh of electricity a year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Statkraft image)

¶ “BEIS Sets Out £1 Billion Carbon Cutting Blueprint” • The UK government has unveiled a £1 billion Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy which it believes will support 80,000 jobs over the next 30 years. The blueprint includes measures to supply UK industry with 20 TWh of low carbon power by 2030 – roughly 40% of its energy demand. [reNEWS]

¶ “Japanese Nuclear Plant Vulnerable To Unauthorized Entry For A Year” • A nuclear power plant on the Sea of Japan coast had been vulnerable to unauthorized entry in around a dozen locations since March last year, after its security system lost partial functionality and backups were not effective, the country’s nuclear regulatory body said. [The Mainichi]

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Plant (Triglav, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “WEC Energy Proposes $446 Million Renewable Project In Delavan-Darien Area” • WEC Energy Group Inc announced plans for a $446 million renewable energy project in Walworth and Rock counties, Wisconsin. The Darien Solar Energy Center would generate 250 MW of solar power and provide 75 MW of battery storage. [Milwaukee Business Journal]

¶ “Duke Starts Up 350-MW Oklahoma Wind” • Duke Energy Renewables has begun commercial operation of the largest wind farm in its fleet, the 350-MW Frontier 2 project in Oklahoma. The wind farm, in Kay County, is an expansion of the 200-MW Frontier 1 project, operational since 2016, for a total capacity of 550 MW. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Peter Franken, Unsplash)

¶ “Missoula Business Goes All In On Solar Array As Renewable Energy Future Grows” • While the city and county of Missoula take steps to achieve 100% clean electricity over the next decade, a number of members of the private sector have set their own goals, and they’re willing to make the investment to cut carbon emissions. [Missoula Current]

¶ “Merck Makes 68-MW Azure Power Play In Texas” • German science and technology company Merck has signed a 12-year virtual power purchase agreement with Enel Green Power for the construction of the Azure Sky wind power and storage project in Texas. Merck’s agreement will deliver enough RECs to match 65% of Merck’s US electricity consumption. [reNEWS]

Have an enthrallingly exquisite day.

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March 16 Energy News

March 16, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Nuclear Power Has Become Irrelevant – Like It Or Not” • Ten years have gone by since the Fukushima Daiichi accident began. What has happened since that time? Dave Freeman, who has been called an “energy prophet” by The New York Times, once wrote, “The debate is over. Nuclear power has been eclipsed by the sun and the wind.” [Kyodo News Plus]

Nuclear power plant (Frédéric Paulussen, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “What Did Volkswagen Actually Present On Batteries Today?” • Volkswagen intends to reduce battery cell costs in low-cost EVs by 50%, much of the reduction coming from use of a chemistry that Tesla has made for some vehicles. Mainstream, high-volume electric vehicles will get a 30% battery cost reduction without much hit to their range. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Jet Fuel From Waste ‘Dramatically Lowers’ Emissions” • At present, most of the food scraps that are used for energy around the world are converted into methane gas. But researchers in the US found a way to turn this waste into a hydrocarbon that works in jet engines. The authors of the study say using the fuel greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. [BBC]

Contrails (William Hook, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Pandemic Lockdowns Improved Air Quality In 84% Of Countries Worldwide, Report Finds” • Coronavirus lockdowns led to air quality improvements in most countries, but the level of pollutants will likely rise as governments lift restrictions and economies swing back into gear, according to IQAir’s 2020 World Air Quality Report. [CNN]

¶ “Seven Big Electric Vehicle Announcements From Volkswagen” • Volkswagen has hosted a live “Power Day” event to talk about batteries and charging. I’m not going to rate the acting and script reading (you can thank me later), but I do want to highlight some of the big announcements. Here are the seven takeaways I think are most important. [CleanTechnica]

Thomas Schmall of Volkswagen (Courtesy of Volkswagen AG)

¶ “Volkswagen Orders $14 Billion Of Battery Cells From Northvolt” • As part of Volkswagen’s Power Day, news came out that Volkswagen Group has put in an order for $14 billion worth of battery cells from Northvolt, which will be supplied via Northvolt’s Swedish battery factory. The $14 billion order is for the coming ten years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Government Of Nunavut To Introduce Renewable Energy Rebate Program” • The government of the Canadian territory of Nunavut hopes to reduce its greenhouse gas footprint by creating a $345,000 fund to help people make improvements to provide their homes and cabins with renewable energy. Funding is in the territory’s 2021-22 budget. [Nunatsiaq News]

Nunavik, Qc (Damon On Road, Unsplash)

¶ “World Oil Demand May Have Peaked In 2019 Amid Energy Transition: IRENA” • Global oil demand may have hit the peak in 2019 and natural gas will follow suit around 2025, the director general of International Renewable Energy Agency said. “There is a structural change that is already there. The energy transition is already in place, it is unstoppable.” [S&P Global]

¶ “Bechtel Partners With Hexicon On UK Floater” • Bechtel is partnering with Hexicon to demonstrate technology at a floating offshore wind farm of up to 40 MW off the coast of the UK. The partnership will draw on Bechtel’s engineering, construction, and project financing expertise to develop the design of the offshore wind facility. [reNEWS]

Floating wind turbines (Hexicon image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Mix Over Summer Far Greater Than Gas: Report” • Renewable energy sources contributed six times more power to Australia’s electricity grid over the 2020-21 summer than gas, according to new research from the Climate Council. The report calls the federal government’s gas expansion plan into question as demand for gas has fallen. [InDaily]

US:

¶ “Senate Confirms Deb Haaland As Biden’s Interior Secretary In Historic Vote” • The Senate voted to confirm Deb Haaland as President Joe Biden’s Interior secretary, a historic move that will make her the first Native American Cabinet secretary. Haaland will be important for Biden’s plan to tackle the climate crisis and reduce carbon emissions. [CNN]

Deb Haaland at a wind farm (Deb Haaland, via Twitter, cropped)

¶ “Wärtsilä Providing 200 MW, 214.5 MWh Battery Storage For Texas Grid” • Wärtsilä Energy has installed 72 GW of power plant capacity in 180 countries around the world. Now it is bringing its expertise to Texas to help stabilize that state’s utility grid with two 100 MW battery storage facilities with a combined capacity of 214.5 MWh. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Summit County Could Take Center Stage In Community Renewable Energy Effort” • Summit County and over 20 other Utah locales are partnering with Rocky Mountain Power to get their electricity from renewable sources. One councilor said that the county will get 100% renewable power for its government operations by 2023. [KPCW]

Solar farm (Sarah Swenty, USFWS, public domain)

¶ “New $98 Million Solar Farm Pitched In Louisiana As Utilities Look To Buy More Renewable Power” • With utilities such as Entergy, Cleco, and LUS looking to buy renewable energy, another solar farm is being proposed in Louisiana. A $98 million project in Morehouse Parish is seeking tax breaks for generating renewable power. [The Advocate]

¶ “Pipeline Giant Kinder Morgan Starts Energy Transition Ventures Group Looking Into Carbon Capture, Renewables” • Kinder Morgan Inc, one of the biggest companies in the oil and gas infrastructure sector, has formed a new Energy Transition Ventures group to identify and pursue commercial opportunities within the low-carbon sector. [Power Engineering]

Have a magnificently grand day.

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March 15 Energy News

March 15, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The Three Big Problems With Hydrogen Hype” • Yesterday, Mike Barnard had a great piece at CleanTechnica on the hydrogen folly. As I was going through it, and building on months (or years) of reading, listening, and thoughts on this topic, I just decided that a few things could and should be put very bluntly in another short article on this topic. [CleanTechnica]

European Parliament (Image by mcruetten on Pixabay)

¶ “GM, Toyota, And FCA Are Beyond Redemption – This Is Too Much!” • GM, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles still want to offer less in air pollution reductions than a deal other car makers brokered last year, itself inadequate and shirking commitments made earlier. They have tried too hard to slow progress and to dirty our air. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Offshore Wind’s Next Step Forward: A Project, A Plan, And A Pathway” • The federal government released its environmental assessment of what might be the first large US offshore wind project. The Final Environmental Impact Statement examines the proposal’s environmental profile. It will be relevant to other offshore wind projects. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm (Zoltan Tasi, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Covid-19 Paused Climate Emissions – But They’re Rising Again” • The world’s sudden launch into lockdown a year ago had an interesting effect on carbon emissions – now they’re returning back to normal far quicker than society is. What the time brought us was not a drop in carbon emissions but some entirely new and sometimes unexpected insights. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Despite Protecting Nature, Indigenous People Will Be Left Out Of UN Biodiversity Talks” • Aiming to preserve 30% of the world’s land and water by 2030, dozens of countries will take part in a UN biodiversity conference this year, but Indigenous people won’t have a seat at the table. That is likely to limit the ambition of the final agreement. [CleanTechnica]

Without representation (Liz Martin, Unsplash)

¶ “India’s NTPC To Commission 100-MW Floating Solar Project Soon” • According to media reports, NTPC, India’s largest power generation company, is expected to commission a 100-MW floating solar power project in the state of Telangana. The ₹4.2 billion ($58 million) project will be spread across 450 acres of the Sri Ram Sagar Reservoir. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Total Eren Flexes Muscles At 97-MW Hercules” • French power producer Total Eren commissioned the 97.2-MW Vientos Los Hercules wind farm in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. The project is Total Eren’s biggest wind farm to enter operation in Latin America. It will produce approximately 400 GWh of electricity each year. [reNEWS]

Hercules wind farm (Total Eren image)

¶ “Solar-Led Renewable Energy System Could Free Up 10% Of Caribbean Nation’s GDP” • For Antigua and Barbuda, IRENA proposed 199 MW of solar capacity in a near-90% clean energy system with 57% solar generation. Diesel would make up just 8%, down from its current 96%, which costs the nation around 10% of its GDP. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Solar Power Lights Up Sudanese Refugee Camp” • In eastern Sudan, renewable energy is being trialed as a power source in UN-run refugee camps, where an influx of thousands of people fleeing conflict in Ethiopia is putting a strain on local resources, and host communities. Their only other option for energy is to cut trees down for fuel. [UN News]

Training session for solar cookers (UNDP Sudan)

¶ “Clean Energy Council publishes Australian Guide To Agrisolar For Large-scale Solar” • As interest grows in agrisolar, using land for both agriculture and solar power, the Clean Energy Council has produced the Australian Guide to Agrisolar for Large-scale Solar to assist integration of agricultural activities into solar farm projects. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “South Australia Government Welcomes Approval For A$3 Billion Wind-Solar-Storage Project” • Neoen is building the Goyder Renewables Zone project in South Australia, at a cost of A$3 billion ($2.32 billion) . It could include up to 1,200 MW of wind generation, 600 MW of solar PVs and 900 MW of battery energy storage. [Energy Storage News]

300-MW Victoria Big Battery (Neoen image)

¶ “Post IPO, ReNew Power Plans Over 18 GW Of Renewables By 2025” • ReNew Power, an independent power producer based in India, has plans to build a pipeline of approximately 18 to 19 GW of renewable capacity by the end of the financial year 2025, Sumant Sinha, CMD of ReNew Power, said during a conference call with investors. [Mercom India]

US:

¶ “The US CLEAN Future Act – What’s In It?” • The CLEAN Future Act was on March 2, 2021, and it deserves some special attention, as it is the first major piece of climate legislation to be introduced since President Biden assumed office. Here, we give brief outlines of its major features, as well as some important measures that are not in it. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Jason Ng, Unsplash)

¶ “Some Car Companies Want To Throw America Under The Bus – Again!” • General Motors, Toyota, and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) say they would agree to standards that are tougher than the prior administration wanted but not as tough as the ones agreed to with the California Air Resources Board by the other car makers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Georgia Power Plans To Add 2,260 MW Of Renewables By 2025” • Georgia Power announced that it is adding 2,260 MW of renewables to its energy mix by 2025. The company noted that solar is expected to make up a majority of its renewable resource growth and that currently it has over 2,500 MW of renewable resources online. [CleanTechnica]

Have a profoundly empowering day.

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March 14 Energy News

March 14, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “A Victory In The Fight To Save Our Coast, But The War Isn’t Won” • Louisiana coastal advocates have been celebrating release of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental impact study on the state’s proposed Myrtle Grove river sediment diversion. It is to cost $50 billion. But it won’t be $50 billion, because climate change will just keep going on. [NOLA.com]
Louisiana bayou (Mathieu Cheze, Unsplash)
https://unsplash.com/photos/qfsKYUgW6ZY

¶ “US Should Pledge To Cut Heat-Trapping Emissions At Least 50% Below 2005 Levels By 2030” • An appropriately ambitious US nationally determined contribution for the Paris Agreement should include a commitment to cut its heat-trapping emissions at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. Such a target is feasible, and it is responsible. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Wonder Material We All Need But Is Running Out” • Rubber is of such global importance that it is included on the EU’s list of critical raw materials. Unfortunately, there are signs the world might be running out of natural rubber. Disease, climate change and plunging global prices have put the world’s rubber supplies into jeopardy. [BBC]

Rubber trees in Thailand (Earng.oi, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “Solar And Wind In South Africa Contributed More Than Nuclear For First Time Ever In 2020” • South Africa’s coal power plants provided 184.4 TWh (83.5%) of the country’s electricity in 2020. Nuclear energy contributed 11.5 TWh (5.2%), and for the first time ever, variable renewable energy surpassed nuclear, contributing 12.4 TWh (5.6%). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sri Lanka Can Produce Its Entire Requirement Of Power Through Renewable Sources” • There is a major shift in Sri Lanka to renewable energy, wind power and solar power, from fossil fuel. With that shift there is a strong possibility of bringing the present high prices of electricity to one third of what they currently are. [The Sunday Times Sri Lanka]

Wind turbines (Dimitry Anikin, Unsplash)

¶ “Government Committed To Promote Renewable Energy” • India’s government is committed to promote renewable energy, especially in the micro, small, and medium enterprises sector, Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said. He also is confident that within five years, India will be a top manufacturing hub for cars in the world, especially EVs. [Millennium Post]

¶ “In Canary Islands, Renewable Energy Depends As Much On People As On Wind” • El Hierro is the southernmost island in the Canaries. The Red Cross and Gorona del Viento, the island’s hydroelectric plant, ran a six-month joint program about energy conservation. It led to lower fossil fuels use and it changed the people’s views. [Christian Science Monitor

Canary Islands seascape (Cristian Palmer, Unsplash)

¶ “UK Pension Fund Nest To Invest £250 Million In Renewable Power” • Nest Corp, the UK’s biggest pension fund by members, will invest £250 million (US $348 million) in renewable energy in a partnership with Octopus Renewables. Nest’s managers seek to diversify the fund’s holdings and support the transition toward clean energy. [The Business Times]

US:

¶ “Alpha Motor Plans Retro Electric Pickup Truck, Performance Coupe, And More” • Electric vehicle startups are popping up everywhere. One of the latest is Alpha Motor, based in Irvine, California. Like most of the others, it starts with a reconfigurable skateboard that can be used for many vehicle types. It says one of these is a pickup truck. [CleanTechnica]

Alpha Wolf (Courtesy of Alpha Motor)

¶ “Will Tesla Help Prevent Another Energy Disaster In Texas?” • Our neighbors in Texas got hit hard by the recent unexpected Arctic blast. The weather-related disaster was an embarrassing fiasco that simply should not have happened in a technologically advanced country. But now Tesla is boosting its presence in Texas with stationary batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Five Things We Learned From This Week’s Hearings On Texas Power Outages” • Nearly a month after freezing weather knocked power generators offline and plunged millions of Texans into darkness, the state’s lawmakers are starting to get a full picture of the massive damage the outages wrought on the Texas energy market. [The Dallas Morning News]

ERCOT control room (Image courtesy of ERCOT)

¶ “ERCOT Says It Doesn’t Have To Release Power Outage Data” • News outlets and watchdog groups submitted requests to ERCOT for information related to communications relating to the storm that caused millions throughout the state to lose power. But the state’s grid operator says that since it’s a nonprofit, it doesn’t have to hand over the documents. [HPPR]

¶ “Biden Eyes Tougher Approach To Measuring Impact Of Greenhouse Gases” • The Biden administration is expected to give even greater weight to the negative effects of greenhouse gas emissions as it works on developing new “social costs” of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that will impact government regulations. [The Hill]

Have a justifiably satisfying day.

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March 13 Energy News

March 13, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “We Are Losing The Earth’s Diversity Of Life Due To Economics” • We are plundering every corner of the world, apparently neither knowing or caring what the consequences might be to the diversity of life. Putting things right will take collaborative action by every nation on earth, a study from the UK government says. [CleanTechnica]

Wetlands (Steve Adams, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “VW And Quantumscape Bring Solid State Batteries Closer To Reality” • Solid state batteries would give great benefits but have so far been frustrated by the inability to develop a separator that can keep the battery from failing prematurely. Quantumscape claims that it has come up with a better separator that has been proven to work. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Wants Your Next Electric Vehicle Battery To Be The Best One Ever” • GM is pushing battery development hard. It has put 150,000 miles of testing into a new lithium-metal version of the Ultium architecture, and a joint R&D agreement with the cutting edge EV battery firm SES (formerly SolidEnergy Systems) will carry the project to fruition. [CleanTechnica]

Battery (Steve Fecht for General Motors, cropped)

¶ “Sea-Level Rise Drives Wastewater Leakage To Coastal Waters” • A study by University of Hawaii at Mānoa earth scientists is the first to provide direct evidence that tidally-driven groundwater inundation of wastewater infrastructure is occurring today in urban Honolulu. It is creating negative impacts to coastal water quality and ecological health. [EurekAlert]

¶ “Lidar May Be Harmful To People And Cameras” • A story at Truckinginfo.com questions the safety of lidar systems used by some vehicles (though not Tesla). Some types of lidar could potentially cause damage to human eyes, while other types could be hurting cameras that are used for safe operation of vehicles and traffic equipment. [CleanTechnica]

Lidar imagery from NOAA

World:

¶ “Total Adding Ultrafast EV Chargers To 300 Stations In France” • France has a reputation of being a place where finding fast EV charging stations is difficult. The Oil & Gas giant Total, which has gas stations in place across Europe, is planning to add ultrafast EV chargers at 300 stations across France. The plan is to have all of them installed by the end of 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Minesto Finds Partner For Tidal Project Development” • Swedish marine energy developer Minesto is partnering with Schneider Electric to develop tidal energy projects based on the former’s Deep Green technology. The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to develop and build projects. [reNEWS]

Minesto tidal kite (Minesto image)

¶ “How The Oil Industry Is Shifting To Offshore Wind” • After keeping close oil industry ties for over a half-century, Crowley Maritime Corp is now looking to the next frontier in energy: renewable power sources like offshore wind. It is one of many oil industry suppliers looking to clean energy after economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. [E&E News]

¶ “Eni And CDP Equity To Develop Renewable Energy Assets In Italy” • Italian oil company Eni and CDP Equity have established a joint venture to develop 1 GW of renewables in the country by 2025. The GreenIT joint venture will develop, construct, and manage renewable power plants in the country, with investments totaling $953 million. [Power Technology]

Solar panels (Photo by Jaidee, from Pixabay)

¶ “Lightsource bp Solar Farm Powers bp Service Stations With 100% Renewable Energy In Australia” • Lightsource bp has announced that through a PPA with Snowy Hydro, its 107-MW West Wyalong solar farm will supply renewable energy to 88 of bp’s service stations across New South Wales. The PPA will enable construction of the solar farm. [WebWire]

¶ “Five Of Japan’s Ex-PMs Call For Country To End Nuclear Power Use On Fukushima 10th Anniversary” • On March 11, the 10th anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that triggered a nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture, five former Japanese prime ministers issued declarations that Japan should break with nuclear power generation. [The Mainichi]

Evacuees, 2011 (Steven L Herman, VOA, public domain)

US:

¶ “Pipeline Firms Are Abandoning Oil And Gas Lines, Leaving Landowners To Deal With The Mess” • There are few rules governing abandoned pipelines, which can collapse, explode, or leak dangerous chemicals. It’s a problem that is increasingly common as renewables outcompete fossil fuels and pipelines age out of service. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Organizations Sue Over Kern County Plan To Fast-Track Oil And Gas Drilling” • Environmental organizations are suing Kern County, California over an ordinance that could clear the way for 40,000 new oil and gas wells in the next 15 years. The county has tried to fast-track drilling before; a 2015 ordinance was struck down by a state appeals court. [CleanTechnica]

Kern County, California (Brian Wangenheim, Unsplash)

¶ “The Mid-Barataria Sediment Division – Saving Southeastern Louisiana’s Wetlands” • Louisiana has been losing its wetlands due to erosion, climate change, and other factors for 80 years now, but there is one project that could help not only save our wetlands but build new ones. That project is the Mid-Barataria Sediment Division. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “City Of Boston Completes $11 Million Investment In Energy Efficiency And Renewable Energy Upgrades Across Fourteen City Buildings” • Mayor Martin J Walsh announced completion of the first phase of Renew Boston Trust, the City of Boston’s initiative to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy measures for municipal buildings. [Patch.com]

Have an overwhelmingly positive day.

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March 12 Energy News

March 12, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Canada, O Canada, Thy Electric Bus Investments Are So Beautiful!” • Some of my favorite things to report on are electric bus orders, so news out of Canada made me want to sing from a mountaintop. Canada is putting $2.75 billion into electrifying public transition over the next 5 years, and that includes buying 5,000 electric buses. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus (Image courtesy of Lion Electric)

¶ “Transforming The US Power Sector In The Decisive Decade – Cutting Carbon While Keeping The Lights On” • Addressing climate change requires rapid, economy-wide decarbonization in this decade to limit cumulative greenhouse gas emissions. The power sector can use technologies that are available, scalable, and low-cost today. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “USPS Cannot Afford To Not Go Electric” • The US Postal Service has just awarded the contract to replace up to 165,000 of their aging delivery fleet to a company that will produce mostly gas-fueled trucks. According to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, just 10% will be electric. Unfortunately, the USPS cannot afford not to go electric. [CleanTechnica]

Grumman LLV (Austin102, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Climbing Without A Map: Japan’s Nuclear Clean-Up Has No End In Sight” • The work at Fukushima Daiichi ranks as the most expensive and dangerous nuclear cleanup ever attempted. Ten years in, an army of engineers, scientists, and 5,000 workers are still mapping out a project many expect will not be completed in their lifetime. [marketscreener.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Multi-Trillion-Dollar Plan To Capture CO₂” • When it starts operationing, Carbon Engineering’s prototype direct air capture plant will scrub a tonne of CO₂ from the air every year. To stop climate change, we have to remove CO₂ from the air faster than we put it in. Carbon Engineering estimates the cost at $94 per tonne. We emit 34 billion tonnes per year. [BBC]

Carbon Engineering pilot plant (Carbon Engineering image)

¶ “Mapping The Best Places To Plant Trees” • Reforestation could help to combat climate change, but whether and where to plant trees is a complex choice with many conflicting factors. To deal with this problem, researchers reporting in the journal One Earth have created the Reforestation Hub, an interactive map of the US reforestation opportunities. [EurekAlert]

¶ “Sunreef’s New All-Electric Catamaran Blends Solar And Wind Energy For Unlimited Range” • Sunreef Yachts is building what it claims will be “the world’s most advanced sustainable luxury catamaran.” It can harness and store renewable energy, and it can sail silently emissions-free for days on end. In fact, the yard says it has infinite range. [Robb Report]

Sunreef catamaran (Sunreef Yachts image)

World:

¶ “Diess Says Nein To Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars And Trucks” • A lot of people think using hydrogen to power cars and trucks is a good idea. But Herbert Diess, chairman of the board for the Volkswagen Group, says that is not realistic. “You won’t see any hydrogen usage in cars. Not even in 10 years, because the physics behind it are so unreasonable.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BYD Tang’s Norway Specs, Electric Trash Trucks, And Electric Bus Orders” • Among EV producers during this past decade, BYD has probably been #1, especially if you roll in all of the electric buses and electric trucks it has sold. In the past couple of weeks, BYD has put out some particularly interesting updates. I’ll roll through four of them. [CleanTechnica]

Electric trash truck (Image courtesy of BYD)

¶ “Austria Post Selects Mobility House To Manage 100% Electric Vehicle Fleet” • Austria Post has a goal of using 100% EVs by 2030. It already owns the largest fleet of electric vehicles in Austria. It has 2,400 charging stations and will add more. In need of a charging network manager, it chose the ChargePilot system from The Mobility House. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mt Athos Monastic Community to Use 100% Renewable Energy” • Greece’s ancient monastic community of Mt. Athos, which is home to approximately 2,000 Orthodox monks, will soon begin receiving its electricity from solar panels, according to an announcement from Apostolos Tzitzikostas, the Governor of Central Greece. [Greek Reporter]

Mt Athos Monastery (Fingalo, CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

¶ “Nissan Plans 20-MW Solar Extension At Sunderland Plant” • Nissan has announced plans for a major expansion to renewable energy generation at its Sunderland plant in the UK. The plant already has 12 MW of wind turbines and PVs. The 20-MW PV extension would be enough to power production of every LEAF sold in Europe with renewables. [Energy Digital]

US:

¶ “US DOE Launches Design And Construction Of $75 Million Grid Energy Storage Research Facility” • The DOE announced that design and construction of the Grid Storage Launchpad has begun. The new $75 million facility will be located in Richland, Washington. It will boost renewable energy and long-duration, low-cost grid energy storage. [CleanTechnica]

Grid Storage Launchpad (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

¶ “Thanks To Community Choice Aggregation, Customers Get A $1,000 E-Bike Voucher Offer” • In California, Sonoma Clean Power hooks up ratepayers with more renewable energy than their regular utility provides. Now SCP is going a good deal further and hooking up some of its ratepayers with free $1,000 vouchers for e-bikes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vallejo Powering Up For MCE Renewable Energy Option In April” • Residents of Vallejo, California, are moving ever-closer to a renewable-energy choice on their power bills beginning in April. Everyone will automatically be enrolled in Marin Clean Energy unless they “opt out.” Those in can choose green energy levels of 60% or 100%. [Vallejo Times-Herald]

Have an invigoratingly refreshing day.

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March 11 Energy News

March 11, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Japan’s Road To Renewables Post-Fukushima” • It has been 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake struck the Tohuku region. The triple disaster of the earthquake, the tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown at the TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant – posed one of the biggest challenges in Japan’s post-war history. [The Diplomat]

Solar panels in Yamagata Prefecture (藤川広平, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “EV Battery Recycling Heating Up – Volkswagen, Li-Cycle, And US Department Of Energy Prize Jumping In” • The EV battery recycling industry is just starting up, but Volkswagen provided an update on its efforts. In case you wonder if the materials in used batteries are still of a decent quality after all that use, Volkswagen is happy to tell us that they are. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Even In Frigid Temperatures In Alaska, Air-Source Heat Pumps Keep Homes Warm” • When the north wind blows into Dillingham, Alaska, it can be well past -15°F. On these days, the oil heaters in many of the homes have to run pretty much nonstop to keep people warm. But one house is kept warm by an air-source heat pump. [CleanTechnica]

House in Dillingham (NREL via Twitter)

¶ “Farming And Construction: Autonomous Is Going To Be More Than Vehicles” • There’s a whole world of autonomy going on both on farms and construction sites, and we could miss it while we tend to get focused on cars. Machine learning is going to transform not just the road, but how it’s built and how the food people eat is grown. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “LG Hopes To Make New Batteries With Tesla In The US Or Europe In 2023” • Tesla and LG Chem could partner up to build Tesla’s new 4680 battery in the US and Europe. Yahoo! Finance has reported that the two companies were in talks and LG Chem has been aiming at building the 4680 battery cells in 2023. Factory sites are under consideration. [CleanTechnica]

Battery manufacture (Tesla image, screenshot)

¶ “Tesla And Volkswagen Will Be The Top EV Makers According To UBS” • The Swiss bank UBS predicted that as the battle for dominance in EVs heats up over the next few years, Tesla will have Volkswagen joining it in the top ranks for global EV sales. UBS forecasts that EVs will penetrate all of the automobile markets by 2040. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE To Build UK Haliade-X Blade Factory” • GE Renewable Energy is investing in a new blade factory in Teesside, north-east England. The factory, which will make blades for Haliade-X units, will directly create around 750 jobs at the Teesworks site on the River Tees as well as 1500 indirect roles. It will open and start production in 2023. [reNEWS]

Wind blade manufacture (GE image)

¶ “Neoen Sets Sights On 10 GW Of Renewables By 2025” • Neoen is targeting over 10 GW of capacity under construction or in operation by 2025. The French renewables and energy storage developer said it aims to “progressively accelerate” the pace at which it wins new projects to at least 2 GW per year in 2025, up from 1 GW in 2019 and in 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Coal Power Station Retires To Fond Farewell As Massive Battery Project Steps In To Take Its Place” • Australian energy retailer EnergyAustralia has said that it will build a 350-MW, four-hour standalone battery storage system project to enable one of its coal-fired power plants to be retired “after decades of faithful service.” [Energy Storage News]

Solar+storage in Australia (ARENA image)

¶ “Fukushima Daiichi Cleanup Plan Only Getting Tougher” • The decades-long challenge to scrap the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, crippled by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the area in 2011, is getting more complex as new probes highlight the damage. TEPCO wants to scrap the plant by 2051, but that may not be possible. [The Japan Times]

¶ “GE Claims Top Spot In 2020 Wind Rankings” • GE carved out the largest market share in 2020 in a record-breaking year for global wind capacity additions, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Developers commissioned 96.3 GW of wind turbines globally in 2020, compared with 60.7 GW the previous year, most of which (94%) were on land. [reNEWS]

GE wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

US:

¶ “Senate Confirms Michael Regan As Head Of Environmental Protection Agency” • The Senate voted to confirm Michael Regan as President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the EPA, where he’ll join an administration that has pledged aggressive action on tackling the climate crisis. The vote on the issue was bipartisan, and Regan was confirmed on a vote of 66 to 34. [CNN]

¶ “Electric Pickup Truck And SUV News From Canoo And General Motors” • While Tesla is preparing to get its Cybertruck into production, other manufacturers are pushing ahead with their own electric pickup truck plans. Rivian, Ford, Bollinger, and General Motors are all in the mix. Now comes word there is a new player on the horizon. [CleanTechnica]

Canoo electric pickup (Image courtesy of Canoo)

¶ “Tesla Is Coming To Grand Rapids” • You may remember the struggle Tesla had to endure to be able to serve and sell to its customers in Michigan. Now, WoodTV has reported that Tesla is launching its first vehicle service center in West Michigan. Tesla’s signs are already up at what used to be Prestige Auto Imports in Grand Rapids. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “City Of White Plains Breaks Ground On 6.8-MW Community Solar Portfolio” • The City of White Plains, New York, and developer Distributed Solar Development broke ground on a nine-project, 6.8-MW community solar portfolio that will triple the amount of solar energy produced in Westchester County, New York. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have an exuberantly cheery day.

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March 10 Energy News

March 10, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Who’s To Blame For A $17,000 Electric Bill In Texas?” • When the polar vortex hit Texas, demand for electricity increased as the supply collapsed, and wholesale prices shot up, increasing to hundreds of times above normal. Some customers had bills as high as $17,000. The cause of this was ultimately an utter lack of regulatory oversight. [CleanTechnica]

Residential choice customers (US EIA image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Coal’s Retreat As Renewables Surge Is A Shock, But Not A Surprise” • When Energy Australia announced it would close the Yallourn Power Station four years early, in 2028, it was a shock, but hardly a surprise. Coal-fired power plants simply cannot compete with the amount of cheap renewable power that is being installed. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “The True Scale Of Solar PV Power Plants” • A decade ago, few believed that electricity from renewable energy resources alone could power the entire world. Experts in the energy sector and related industries now believe it is possible. Twelve countries have passed laws to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Some are already there. [ESI Africa]

Akin Solar plant in Mexico (ENGIE image)

World:

¶ “Romania Orders 123 E-Buses From Solaris” • The Romanian government placed an order for 123 Solaris electric buses. A mix of seven towns and cities will receive these buses. The tender is run by the Romanian Ministry for Public Works, Development, and Administration, and the total value of the contract is almost €65 million. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sea Level Rise Is Increasing Fastest In Populous Coastal Areas, Study Says” • Coastal communities are experiencing sea level rise four times worse than global water rise, a study says. Sediment production, groundwater pumping, and extraction of materials from the ground all cause the land to sink, compounding the effects of a rising sea level. [CNN]

Venice (Egor Gordeev, Unsplash)

¶ “Vattenfall Starts Solar Build On German Hydro Site” • Vattenfall has started the construction of an open-space PV system at the Geesthacht pumped storage plant in Schleswig-Holstein. The company will install around 5,000 solar modules with a capacity of 2.4 MW on the dam of the upper basin at the pumped storage facility. [reNEWS]

¶ “Rolls-Royce Gets One Step Closer To The Fastest Electric Plane” • Rolls-Royce has a small propeller aircraft with a 400-kW electric power-train pulling juice from the latest batteries. It is called the Spirit of Innovation, and the company expects it to be able to exceed 300 MPH. If it pulls that off, it will be the fastest electric plane ever flown. [CleanTechnica]

Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation (Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce)

¶ “NRA Compiles Report On Fukushima Accident” • Japan’s nuclear regulators have compiled a report on the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The Nuclear Regulation Authority had suspended its investigation into the cause of the accident due to high radiation levels. It resumed the probe two years ago. [NHK World]

¶ “Lightsource BP Picks Up Australian Solar PPA” • Lightsource BP’s Australian Snowy Hydro solar farm will supply renewable energy to 88 of BP’s service stations across New South Wales under a new PPA. The PPA will enable the construction of the 107-MW solar farm in West Wyalong, New South Wales through a 15-year agreement PPA. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (Lightsource BP image)

US:

¶ “Dozens Of US Cities Are Banning Natural Gas Hookups In New Buildings” • A fight over legislation banning gas hookups in new buildings is exploding across the country, a Seattle Times and InsideClimate News joint investigation found. Starting in 2019, a move to ban natural gas hookups in new buildings is spreading widely, but it has opposition. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Tesla Big Battery Is Coming To Texas” • A Tesla subsidiary known as Gambit Energy Storage is constructing a 100-MW battery in Angleton, Texas, about 50 miles west of Galveston, according to TechCrunch. The Angleton battery is actually not very big compared to other Tesla projects, but it may be Tesla’s largest in the US outside of California. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy and storage (Tesla image)

¶ “Ample Announces Modular Battery Swapping Stations For Any EV” • A group of ridesharing, delivery, and municipal fleets in the Bay Area of California will soon be swapping batteries instead of fast charging. They’re working with Ample, a company that recently announced its technology publicly after 7 years of under-wraps development. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Invenergy Starts Operations At 250-MW Blooming Grove” • Invenergy’s 250-MW Blooming Grove Wind Energy Center, in Illinois, has commenced commercial operations. Output from Blooming Grove, in McLean County, will supply electricity to Verizon and Saint-Gobain North America under separate virtual power purchase agreements. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Invenergy image)

¶ “Chevron Updates Plans To Increase Renewable Energy And Carbon Offsets” • Chevron Corporation announced plans to increase return on capital employed and lower carbon intensity. The company has exceeded its 2023 upstream carbon intensity reduction targets three years ahead of schedule, and it set new lower targets. [Environment + Energy Leader]

¶ “Bezos Plans To Spend $10 Billion On Climate Change By 2030” • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plans to spend the $10 billion he invested in the Bezos Earth Fund by 2030, the fund’s new CEO Andrew Steer said. Since Bezos announced the fund in February 2020, little has been revealed about how it would be used combat the climate crisis. [KULR-TV]

Have an especially rewarding day.

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March 9 Energy News

March 9, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Much More Rooftop Solar From An Alternative To Monopoly Utility Models” • Electric utilities have struggled to find a place for rooftop solar power in their business models. Now, Vote Solar and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance have a modeling system that might put distributed solar on the same footing as the large power plants for grid planning. [CleanTechnica]

Houses with rooftop solar systems (ILSR image)

¶ “Tesla’s New Engagement Hub” • Tesla recently launched its newest platform, the Engagement Platform, which is a platform for both Tesla’s public policy team and Tesla owners clubs. Now those of us who are interested in Tesla have a place to come, create an account, and get involved in a company that we believe in, even if we don’t own a Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Making The Polluters Pay” • With carbon pricing alone no longer seen as enough to meet the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement, what other options are there? Dr Matt Goodwin, sales director at sustainable fuel company Waste Knot Energy, said “Carbon pricing is having an effect, but … [We] need CO₂ emissions to go into reverse.” [Raconteur]

Pollution (Daniel Moqvist, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Power Crisis: Sri Lanka Aiming To Go For Only Renewable Energy Sources Within Ten Years” • Sri Lanka is working on a plan to power the country using entirely renewable energy sources within the next decade, the country’s Power Minister said. Currently, the government is dependent on polluting oil-fired generators. [EconomyNext]

¶ “Wärtsilä To Install ‘First-Of-Its-Kind’ Floating Battery Storage Solution In Southeast Asia” • Wärtsilä Corporation will deploy a floating battery system to provide ancillary services for a thermal power facility in the Philippines. The battery system will provide 54 MW, 32 MWh of electric energy storage for a 100-MW diesel powered barge. [Energy Storage News]

Wärtsilä floating barge (Wärtsilä Corporation image)

¶ “Argentina To Increase Its Onshore Wind Power Capacity By Threefold During 2021–2030” • In 2020, around 9% of the total power generated in Argentina was derived from renewable power sources. The country plans to increase this percentage by more than threefold by 2030. Windpower will provide more than 65% of the renewable energy. [Power Technology]

¶ “Uniquely Designed Kruisvallei Hydro Now Operational In Free State” • The Kruisvallei hydro-electric power plant in South Africa’s Free State Province is operating commercially. The plant has two run-of-river hydropower units that combine to supply 4 MW of hydro-electric power. It will provide power for about 1,916 households. [ESI Africa]

Hydro plant (kruisvalleihydro.energy)

¶ “Australia To Reach 30% Non-Hydro Renewable Energy By 2030” • A recent study by market analyst Fitch Solutions now claims that non-hydro renewable energy generation will make up close to a third (30%) of Australia’s total power mix by the end of the decade, driven by growth in the production of green hydrogen. [PV-Tech]

¶ “Acciona Makes 63-M W Polish Power Play” • Spanish energy company Acciona is to supply electricity to the automotive components manufacturer Brembo from the 63-MW Krobia 1 wind farm in Poland under a five-year virtual power purchase agreement. The contract will partially offset Brembo’s energy needs at its plants in Poland. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Acciona image)

¶ “CeraPhi Energy Collaborates With Fraser Well Management On Geothermal Solutions In The UK, US, And Europe” • The geothermal company CeraPhi Energy teamed with specialist well engineering and project management company Fraser Well Management to deliver a green geothermal energy solution that can be scaled up. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Fukushima Gains Ground In Plan To Cover All Power With Renewables” • Fukushima Prefecture, home to the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, is making big headway on its goal to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040. The coastline of Minami-Soma is now dotted with windmills and solar power panels. [Asahi Shimbun]

Hiyama Plateau Wind Farm, Fukushima Pref (Σ64, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

US:

¶ “Wells Fargo Is Joining The Green Wave Sweeping Finance” • Wells Fargo is embracing ambitious lending goals to fight the climate crisis. The bank is setting a goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions, including from the companies and projects it finances, by 2050. Wells Fargo has long been a major backer of fossil fuel projects. [CNN]

¶ “Biden Admin Advances Major Offshore Wind Farm” • The next-to-last requirement for the Vinyard Wind project to move forward was the final environmental impact statement from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. It now has that. With the next step, construction can start in federal waters 12 nautical miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. [E&E News]

Illustration of the Vineyard Wind project (Vineyard Wind image)

¶ “Multiyear Drought Builds In Western US With Little Relief In Sight” • While much has been written this year on atmospheric rivers, avalanche warnings, and even flash flooding, the western half of the US is experiencing a crushing drought. While parts of the Northeast are soggy, 80% of the land in the western US faces some official category of drought. [CNN]

¶ “Primoris Building Renewable Business Alongside Pipeline, Industrial Portfolio” • Primoris Services Corp, whose bread and butter has been pipeline and electric grid work, is now seeing some of its fastest growth in solar and other renewable energy products. The company has racked up a $1 billion backlog in solar projects alone. [Engineering News-Record]

Have a uniformly superb day.

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March 8 Energy News

March 8, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Geothermal Energy Is Having A Magic Moment, This Time For Real – CleanTechnica Interview” • The geothermal energy industry never realized its true potential in the US, despite the seemingly magical promise of nonstop, 24/7 renewable energy sitting just below the surface of the Earth. However, it seems like things are finally starting to gel. [CleanTechnica]

Geothermal plant (Pseudopanax, placed into the public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Smithsonian Study Finds More Bad News About Climate Change: Skimpier Chesapeake Bay Oysters” • A new study by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center shows that oysters stressed by low dissolved oxygen and warm water early in life grow thicker shells and less meat, the culinary delight for which the bivalve is prized. [Herald-Mail Media]

¶ “Want To Save Butterflies? Use Less Pesticide, UNR Study Says” • Butterflies have been in decline for the past 40 years and new methods of conservation and management of butterfly habitat – like less backyard pesticide use – may be needed to stop the decline, a report from the University of Nevada, Reno said. The report was published in Science. [KOLO]

Butterfly (Michal Mrozek, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Tesla Is Building Its 1st Superchargers In Israel” • Last month, Tesla entered the Israeli market, with a starting price of 180,000 shekels after taxes ($54,600) for a Model 3. So, it makes sense that Tesla is bringing its innovative Supercharging network to Israel as well. Unsurprisingly, Tesla has started the construction on its first Supercharger in Israel. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla China Reaches Another Milestone: 6,000 Supercharger Installations” • Tesla China has reached another milestone, a report by Tesmanian says. The country has 6,000 Supercharger installations. The report added that these stations are able to provide a battery recharge for up to 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla charging stations (Image from Tesmanian via Twitter)

¶ “Eirgrid Proposals To Include €2 Billion Power Line Around Irish Coast” • For Ireland to meet its climate commitments, it will be necessary to redevelop the grid system the country uses to transmit electricity from renewable power plants to where it is needed. State-owned Eirgrid has suggested four possible ways to do that. [The Irish Times]

¶ “Magna Introduces Its Own BEV And PHEV Platforms” • A Canadian company, Magna, may be the biggest car company you never heard off. It develops and builds automobiles for other companies, like BMW, Daimler, Jaguar Land Rover, and Toyota. It unveiled details of two platforms it developed in-house, one is a hybrid, the other a pure EV. [CleanTechnica]

EV platform from Magna (Magna International image)

¶ “Northern Beaches Council Joins 100% Renewables Club” • In New South Wales, Northern Beaches Council has signed an agreement with a renewable energy company to see it switch over to 100% green power. It says the agreement with Infigen Energy will cut an estimated $1.9 million from its electricity bills over the next seven years. [Government News]

¶ “Space-Starved Singapore Builds Huge Floating Solar Farms In Push For Renewable Power” • Renewable energy is a challenge in a country with no rivers for hydro-electricity and where the wind is not strong enough to power turbines. So Singapore turned to solar power. With almost no available land, it has had to resort to setting up floating solar plants. [Firstpost]

Illustration of a floating solar system (Sembcorp image)

¶ “Fukushima Residents Fear Crisis Has Fallen Off Radar As Other Issues Take Spotlight” • Ten years after the Fukushima Disaster, some local residents of the area, who have seen the changes it brought about, worry about the future and what will become of the closed nuclear power plant, as the country seems to have gone on to other things. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “Renewables Supplied 20.6% Of US Electricity In 2020” • US electricity generation data are in from the Energy Information Administration for 2020. Renewable energy accounted for 20.6% of US electricity generation last year. Wind power led, with 8.3% of US electricity generation, followed by hydropower at 7.2%, and solar power at 3.3%. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Henry & Co, Unsplash)

¶ “ERCOT Charged $16 Billion Too Much For Power” • ERCOT, the Texas grid operator, left wholesale electricity prices at the legal maximum two days longer than necessary, overcharging power companies $16 billion in the process, during the winter storm that caused massive system failures, an independent market monitor says. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Petaluma First US City To Ban New Gas Stations” • Today, the 60,000 residents of Petaluma, 40 miles north of the City by the Bay, are served by 16 gas stations. The city council thinks that’s enough and has passed an ordinance banning construction of new gas stations. Petaluma is the first city in the US to prohibit construction of new gas stations. [CleanTechnica]

Have a fantastically gorgeous day.

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March 7 Energy News

March 7, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Biden Faces Steep Challenges To Reach Renewable Energy Goals” • President Joe Biden wants to change the way the US uses energy by expanding our renewable capacity, but he will need to navigate a host of challenges – including dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and restoring hundreds of thousands of lost jobs – to get it done. [WIZM News]

Wind turbines (Charl Folscher, Unsplash)

¶ “Forecasting EV Sales And EV Battery And Metal Prices – An Interview with Logan Goldie-Scot” • In this episode of CleanTech Talk, our podcast interview series, Zachary Shahan, Director and CEO of CleanTechnica, interviews Logan Goldie-Scot, Head of Clean Power Research at BloombergNEF. They talk about the battery supply chain. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Do Countries’ New Emissions-Reduction Plans Stack Up?” • A new UN report finds that countries’ emissions-reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement are falling far short of what’s needed to prevent the most dangerous impacts of climate change. It is imperative that the countries do better than they have on their commitments. [CleanTechnica]

Emissions (Zoya Loonohod, Unsplash)

¶ “Ten Years After Fukushima, Safety Is Still Nuclear Power’s Greatest Challenge ” • On March 11, 2011, Japan’s northeast coast was hit by an earthquake and a tsunami that swept entire towns away in seconds. An investigation concluded that nuclear disaster that followed at Fukushima Daiichi was an accident waiting to happen. Safety is still an issue. [Kiowa County Press]

World:

¶ “Hirdaramani Breaks New Ground In Renewable Energy Use” • The Hirdaramani Group has yet again taken bold strides towards energy accountability by being the first in Sri Lanka to receive International Renewable Energy Certificates for its energy usage. The group hopes this will add new layers of accountability and credibility to its operations. [The Island.lk]

Railroad in Sri Lanka (Hendrik Cornelissen, Unsplash)

¶ “TNB Enters Vietnam Renewable Energy Market Towards 8,300-MW Portfolio By 2025” • To capture the rapid growth in the Vietnam renewable energy market, a Tenaga Nasional Bhd subsidiary, TNB Renewables Sdn Bhd, will collaborate with Singapore’s Sunseap Group in a 21.6-MW project comprising five rooftop solar plants in Vietnam. [The Star Online]

India:

¶ “Over 50% Of Maharashtra’s Renewable Energy Potential Still Untapped: State Economic Survey” • Though Maharashtra ranks fourth in the country, with 9,817 MW of installed capacity of renewable energy, the State Economic Survey 2020-21 showed it had not tapped even 50% of its potential capacity, which was said to be 21,250 MW. [EnergyInfraPost]

Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India (Vikrant Bhonsle, Unsplash)

¶ “‘Chillermill’ World’s First Hybrid Renewable Energy Powered Freezer for Covid-19 Vaccine” • Hyderabad-based commercial cold chain appliances manufacturer Rockwell Industries Lmt. launched the world’s first-ever storage chiller and freezer that runs completely on the hybrid renewable energy source (wind and solar energy). [Saurenergy]

¶ “Renewable Energy Integration Is India’s Next Big Challenge: IEEFA” • According to a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, India had 93 GW of on-grid variable renewable energy capacity as of January 2021. Now, one big challenge for India’s electricity sector is  renewable energy integration. [EnergyInfraPost]

Power lines (Nishanth K, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Science Wins At The Interior Department” • The Department of the Interior announced that it is rescinding secretarial order 3369, which sidelined scientific research and its use in the agency’s decisions. The order restricted the DOI from using scientific studies that did not make all data publicly available, including private data. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Portfolio Standard Policy Has Driven 45% Of US Capacity Additions” • The non-hydro power renewable energy generation has advanced by 402 TWh since 2000 in the US. Of this, 189 TWh is because of Renewables Portfolio Standard policy requirements, according to a report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. [Mercom India]

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “Wyoming Lawmakers Kill Renewable Energy Tax Increase Bills” • Lawmakers in Wyoming voted down two bills intended to increase taxes on companies generating electricity from solar or wind energy, which now pay property, sales, and use taxes. One bill would have charge $1/MWh for solar power. The other was a tax increase for windpower. [News Channel Nebraska]

¶ “Enel’s First Large-Scale Wind + Storage Hybrid Project Will Support Kellogg Company With Renewable Energy” • Enel Green Power North America has started construction of Azure Sky wind + storage, its first large-scale hybrid wind-plus-battery project globally. Enel will sell 360 GWh to Kellogg Company each year. The project is in Texas. [Saurenergy]

Have a pleasantly memorable day.

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March 6 Energy News

March 6, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “International Code Council Votes To Restrict Involvement By Cities In New Building Codes” • The International Code Council announced that it would effectively limit the input of states and cities in the development of new building codes that can help cut energy use and emissions. Doing so, the ICC decision caves to industry groups. [CleanTechnica]

Urban landscape (Chuttersnap, Unsplash)

¶ “Georgia’s Renewable Energy Future Is Bright” • With nearly 2,000 residential and commercial solar installations, Georgia is already one of the Top 10 states for solar capacity. After a 30% increase in jobs over the previous year, in 2019 Georgia ranked Number 1 in solar jobs growth in the Solar Foundation’s Solar Jobs Census. [Atlanta Business Chronicle]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Dramatic Decline In Western Butterfly Populations Linked To Fall Warming” • Western butterfly populations are declining at an estimated rate of 1.6% per year, according to a new report to be published this week in Science. The report looked at 450 species. Among them, the western monarch has undergone a decline of 99.9% since the 1980s. [Science Daily]

Monarch butterfly (Sandy Millar, Unsplash)

¶ “Elon Musk: 10× More Tesla Cars To Get Full Self-Driving Beta Soon” • CEO Elon Musk says Tesla will double the number of cars in the “Full Self-Driving Beta” system with the coming 8.2 version update. He said it will increase the number of cars with the firmware by 10× when version 8.3 comes along – which may be in just 2 to 3 weeks. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “The Xpeng P7 Achieves 20,000 Sales Quicker Than Any Other Vehicle From A Chinese EV Startup” • Xpeng’s P7 electric sedan reached 20,181 cumulative sales thanks to 1,409 deliveries in February. Being a little more than a year old, that’s the quickest that any car from a Chinese EV startup has reached cumulative sales of 20,000. [CleanTechnica]

Xpeng G3

¶ “US Sets Up An Alliance To Help India Achieve Its Renewable Energy Goals” • John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, said the United States has put together a coalition of several countries to help India achieve its ambitious target of producing about 450 GW of renewable power by 2030, costing around $600 billion. [India Today]

¶ “UK Plugin Vehicle Share Hits 13% In February, Up 2.3× Year-On-Year – Diesels Down 61%” • Europe’s third largest auto market, the UK, saw 13% plugin electric vehicle market share in February, up 2.3× from 5.7% a year ago. The overall auto market was down 35.5% year-on-year due to the continuing lockdowns. Diesel sales fell over 61%. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Tesla image)

¶ “JR East To Boost Renewable Energy Use In Rail Operations” • East Japan Railway, Japan’s biggest railway company, plans to boost the use of renewable energy in its operations to meet its goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050. JR East’s railway business emitted 1.99 million tons of carbon dioxide in fiscal year 2019. [Nikkei Asia]

¶ “UK Hills Could Be Used As Massive Renewable Energy Batteries” • British startup RheEnergise has invented an energy storage solution called High-Density Hydro that uses gravity on hills to store energy. The low-cost, energy-efficient, and environmentally-benign process is similar to existing pumped storage hydropower plants. [Intelligent Living]

High-Density Hydro system (RheEnergise image)

¶ “Germany Settles Nuclear Phaseout Legal Disputes For $2.9 Billion” • The German government has agreed to a multibillion-euro compensation deal with major utility firms over its ongoing nuclear energy phaseout. After the Fukushima disaster, the German government announced all the nation’s nuclear power would close by 2022. [Greentech Media]

US:

¶ “GM And LG Energy Solution Plan Second US Battery Factory” • Citing a report by the Wall Street Journal, Autoblog says General Motors and LG Energy Solution are in the planning stages for a second US battery factory. Currently, the two companies are building a $2.3 billion battery factory next door to the former Lordstown factory in Ohio. [CleanTechnica]

Cadillac Lyriq electric car (Image courtesy of Cadillac)

¶ “Drive Electric USA – Electrifying 14 States” • Electric vehicle leaders in 14 states have launched a three-year effort to develop “Drive Electric” programs at the state level for their states. The states do not include clear leader likes California and Oregon, but rather focus on places that need a boost or are just getting off the ground. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “With New FERC Office Of Public Participation, You Can Help Shape Energy In Your Community” • Now FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is creating an Office of Public Participation after 35 years of dodging the issue. This truly is a once in a lifetime chance for reform in a very important US government agency. [CleanTechnica]

Public speaking (Marcos Luiz Photograph, Unsplash)

¶ “VinFast Plans US Factory And California Sales In 2022” • VinFast is the short name for VinFast Trading and Production, a subsidiary of Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup. Recently, it announced plans to open an automobile manufacturing facility in the US in the near future. It will start with an R&D office in San Francisco. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Community Solar Bill Passed By New Mexico Senate, Would Expand Access To Renewable Energy” • A bill that would allow electricity customers in New Mexico to tap into local solar power facilities passed on the New Mexico Senate Floor Thursday on a 27-14 across party lines. The bill allows community solar systems of up to 5 MW. [Carlsbad Current-Argus]

Have a superbly satisfying day.

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March 5 Energy News

March 5, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Humans, Not Nature, Are The Cause Of Changes In Atlantic Hurricane Cycles, New Study Finds” • The idea of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation may have been dealt a deadly blow by Michael Man, who had named it. He concludes the AMO is likely an artifact of climate change in the modern era and big volcanic eruptions in pre-industrial times. [KLFY]

Storm (Arto Marttinen, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Relectrify Launches 120-kWh to 2-MWh Commercial And Industrial Second-Life Battery Product” • Relectrify has released its first commercial & industrial storage product. It is a modular 120-kWh system made from used EV batteries. The ReVolve™ range is scalable and designed for installations in the 120-kWh to 2-MWh range. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Kenya Is Harnessing The Immense Heat From The Earth” • An expansion of 86 MW will push the total production of Kenya’s Olkaria Geothermal Project to 791.5 MW. That’s about 27% of all the energy in Kenya, according to the plant’s operator, KenGen. Kenya relies on geothermal steam for 38% of its power, the greatest proportion of any nation. [BBC]

Great Rift Valley (Peter Dowley, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Volvo CEO: Totally Convinced No One Will Want A Gas Car In 2030” • When Volvo Cars revealed the fully electric Volvo C40 Recharge, CEO Håkan Samuelsson made such a strong statement about the change to 2030, that it warranted an extra article: “I am totally convinced there will be no customers who really want to stay with a petrol engine.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wave Energy To Gild The Floating Wind Turbine Lily In Ireland” • A new floating wind-plus-wave project off the coast of Ireland could demonstrate how nations with coastlines can accelerate the clean energy transition and meet their 2050 net zero carbon goals just in time to thwart catastrophic climate change. [CleanTechnica]

CorPower wave energy device (Courtesy of Simply Blue Energy)

¶ “Canada Invests In Renewable Energy With Geothermal Exploration In The Yukon” • A Member of Parliament for Yukon announced $2 million in funding for the Government of Yukon to explore the potential of geothermal energy as a long-term source of renewable energy for communities currently powered by diesel. [JWN]

¶ “Renewables Nudge 50% In Northern Ireland” • Almost half of all electricity generated in Northern Ireland last year came from renewable sources, according to Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy. The 49.2% figure is a 5.6% increase on the previous year, with around 84.9% generated by wind power, up slightly from 84.5% in 2019. [reNEWS]

Corkey wind farm near Clogh Mills (Albert Bridge, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Tesla Building Super Supercharger In Santa Monica” • Years ago, Tesla talked about large solar-powered Supercharger stations with lounges, restrooms, and much, much more. Now, one is reportedly being built in Santa Monica, California, and it is said that it will be the company’s largest Supercharger station in North America. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California, Texas, And Florida Had Large Small-Scale Solar Capacity Increases In 2020” • As of December 2020, the states with the most small-scale solar PV capacity were California (10.6 GW), New Jersey (1.9 GW), and Massachusetts (1.8 GW). Of the 4.5 GW of small-scale solar capacity added in the US in 2020, 31% was in California. [CleanTechnica]

Increase in small-scale PVs (EIA image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “BlackRock Investment Institute Is Bullish On Tackling Climate Change” • The leaders of BlackRock Investment Institute issued a Capital Market Assumptions whitepaper in February that begins with this assertion: “The popular notion that tackling climate change comes at a net cost to the global economy is wrong, we believe.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York State Adopts Rules To Streamline Large Renewable Energy Project Reviews” • New York State has adopted new rules designed to streamline the siting and construction of renewable energy facilities of 25 MW or more. The regulations result from a law enacted in April 2020 to consolidate environmental review and permitting processes. [pv magazine USA]

Worker at a solar farm (Cypress Creek Renewables image)

¶ “Clean Energy And Total Finalize JV For Carbon-Negative Fuel” • Clean Energy Fuels Corp and its largest shareholder, Total SE, have finalized a 50/50 joint venture to develop carbon-negative renewable natural gas production facilities in the US, as well as credit support to build additional downstream RNG fueling infrastructure. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Ørsted Inks US Wind Offtakes With Target And Hormel” • Ørsted signed power purchase agreements with retailer Target and Hormel Foods for output from its 298-MW Haystack wind farm, which is under construction in Nebraska. The two new offtakers join PepsiCo, which signed a PPA earlier this year for output from Haystack. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “US Energy Regulator Focuses On Access To Renewable Power To Reduce Climate Impact” • Richard Glick, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told the virtually-held CERAWeek conference he is focused on enabling construction of long-distance power transmission lines to bring more renewable power onto the grid to support cities. [Nasdaq]

¶ “Energy Dept To Restart Obama-Era Loans To Renewable Energy Companies” • Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the Biden administration will resume an Energy Department loan program that gave billions in loans to clean-energy companies during the Obama years. She said the program “as of today, is back in business.” [The Hill]

Have a super groovey day.

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