Archive for the 'wind' Category

May 17 Energy News

May 17, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher For America’s First Major Offshore Wind Farm” • The stakes couldn’t be higher. America’s power system needs a serious makeover to meet President Biden’s emissions goals. Dirty coal must be replaced by much more solar and wind – including a series of offshore wind farms that begin with Vineyard Wind. [CNN]

Block Island wind farm (Ionna22, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Danish Duo Examine Hydrogen And Grid Balancing” • Danish transmission system operator Energinet is collaborating with Danish multinational Danfoss on a project to examine whether a plant that converts electricity to hydrogen can be used to help balance the power grid. They will work on a 0.5-MW electrolysis plant for green hydrogen. [reNEWS]

¶ “Save Our Oceans To Protect Our Health – Scientists Call For Global Action Plan” • The Seas Oceans and Public Health In Europe Project, an interdisciplinary collaboration led by the University of Exeter, outlined the initial steps that a wide range of organisations could take to work together to protect the largest connected ecosystem on Earth. [Phys.org]

Ocean (Dan Stark, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Peugeot Shines In Hot French Plugin Electric Vehicle Market – Charts” • The French plugin vehicle market continues in the fast lane, with April’s plugin share reaching 15% (6.8% Battery EV). That keeps the year-to-date share at a record 14% (6.9% BEV), which is a 3% increase over the 2020 result (11%). Peugeot’s EVs sold especially well. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen And QuantumScape Sign Agreement To Pick A Location For Their Joint Venture Pilot-Line Facility” • A solid-state battery developer, QuantumScape, announced that it signed an agreement with Volkswagen Group of America to pick the site of the two companies’ joint-venture solid-state battery pilot-line facility by the end of this year. [CleanTechnica]

QuantumScape web site screenshot (QuantumScape)

¶ “Chinese Media Outlet Apologizes To Tesla For FUD” • Twitter user Ray4Tesla shared that an automobile social media outlet in China took responsibility for the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) it spread against Tesla in China. The network publicly apologized to Tesla for spreading the rumors of brake failure without any evidence. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A City Planning Model In Shanghai Reveals Land Reserved For Tesla Giga Shanghai” • Kelvin Yang has shared a photo on Twitter that may be of particular interest to Tesla/EV followers. He noted that Shanghai’s city planning office has a city model that reveals land that is reserved for Tesla Giga Shanghai. He also shared an article with more info. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla factory at work (Tesla image)

¶ “Volkswagen Group Is #1 – By Far – In Fully Electric Vehicle Sales In 10 European Countries” • Volkswagen Group set out some years ago to truly go electric and become the top selling company in the electric vehicle market as quickly as possible. Many have laughed and scoffed, but its European results show that it’s getting there. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RES Secures Planning Approval For 100-MW UK Battery Storage Project” • A 99.9-MW energy storage project currently under development in northern England has secured planning permission. Renewable Energy Systems is developing the system. When it is commissioned in late 2023, RES will have 420 MW of storage operating. [Energy Storage News]

RES battery storage system (Image courtesy of RES and NREL)

¶ “France’s EDF Helping Saudi Arabia Achieve Renewable Energy Targets” • Saudi Arabia is aiming to generate 50% of its energy from renewables by 2030, with the remainder provided by gas. EDF Renewables has two big projects in the Kingdom to help it achieve that goal. Their total capacity is 700 MW, and they can provide electricity cheaply. [Arab News]

¶ “Coal Generators Bleeding Money As Renewables, Rooftop Solar Push Prices Down” • Revenue for the operators of coal burning power stations has plunged by $5.4 billion as coal use continues to decline. This is impetus for AGL, which burns more coal than any other company in Australia, to bring forward its coal closure timeline. [Mirage News]

Yallourn Power Station (Stephen Edmonds, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Powercor Proposes 20 Big Batteries For Victoria Renewable Energy Zones” • Victoria electricity network operator Powercor put forward a plan to install up to 20 big batteries totaling more than 1.1 GW at key network centers to help strengthen the grid and deliver on the state’s renewable energy target. They would facilitate 10 GW of renewables. [Renew Economy]

US:

¶ “The Dam Has Broken And West Virginia Has Awoken To Solar Power” • The tight grip the coal industry has on West Virginia is loosening. Consider the case of Nitro Construction Services, a provider of electrical, mechanical, and technological services. Its roots are in the coal industry but it is now ramping up its new solar business. [Forbes]

West Virginia solar energy (Revolt Energy image)

¶ “Army Of Tesla’s Refreshed Model S Cars Spotted In A Flyover Of Fremont Factory” • Tesla is about to unleash an army of the newly refreshed Model S (Plaid) vehicles. They were spotted at the Tesla factory in Fremont in a drone flyover. Gabincal shared the video on YouTube and noted that the Refreshed vehicles were everywhere. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Air Compression To Be Used In The World’s Largest Non-Hydro Energy Storage System” • The world’s largest advanced compressed-air long-duration energy storage (A-CAES) system is set to be constructed in California. Canadian company Hydrostor has announced that it is developing two A-CAES projects, each of 500-MW / 5-GWh. [Energy Matters]

Have a blissfully inspiring day.

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If it’s not Sustainable, its Condition is Terminal.

May 17, 2021

3,272 regular daily posts, linking 43,231 articles

§ The most recent reported status of US nuclear power plants can be found at the US Nuclear Power Report, a distressingly dull account of NRC news, posted on non-holiday weekdays and Saturdays. As of May 17, out of 95 US-licensed power reactors (including two reactors at Indian Point, which have been closed down), 11 were at reduced output and 11 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week # 417 – 5/6/2021: Renewable energy is surprisingly cheap, and there is a lot of it to be had. RMI has a pathway to limiting warming to 1.5°C. South Australia’s wholesale electricity market prices are at a low level because of renewable energy. Massachusetts can benefit from solar power plus bees. Vineyard Wind is moving ahead. And there is more.

§ You can get a copy of the latest Green Energy Times, the April 2021 edition, by downloading the pdf file HERE.

May 16 Energy News

May 16, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Bringing Back Clean Air” • Indoor air pollution from burning gas is a important problem. RMI has made the clear economic case for all-electric homes in new construction, finding that they are cheaper than dual-fuel homes in every major region of the US. Throw in the safety advantages, and there is simply no reason to build for gas. [CleanTechnica]

Polluted air (Image retrieved from nps.gov)

¶ “Bitcoin Mining Imperils New York State’s Renewable Energy Goals” • The cryptocurrency business has crept into Western New York state almost unnoticed. Digihost’s bid to buy North Tonawanda’s nearly defunct Fortistar power plant, which is fueled by methane and oil, presents an imminent threat to our carbon footprint. [Buffalo News]

¶ “A Case For Wind Energy, And In Support Of Wildlife And Habitat” • New Mexico is in an important position to generate electricity, reaping the benefits that come from its abundant wind energy. Not only can renewable energy development and wildlife conservation coexist, they depend on each other for their futures. [Albuquerque Journal]

Wind turbines (Turn the page fault, placed into the public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Extreme Heat Risks May Be Widely Underestimated And Are Sometimes Left Out of Major Climate Reports” • Recent research shows that the global death toll from extreme heat is rising. But “large parts of society don’t think of heat as a threat,” Oxford University climate scientist Fredi Otto said, commenting on a number of studies. [Inside Climate News]

¶ “May 15 Is The New ‘Unofficial’ Start To Hurricane Season” • Officially, the hurricane season starts on June 1. But named tropical systems have formed earlier than that in the Atlantic every year for the past six years. The National Hurricane Center is now issuing their routine ‘tropical weather outlook’ forecasts starting on May 15, rather than June 1. [CNN]

Heavy waves (Barth Bailey, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Ancient Swedish Hamlet Holds Lessons For Future Of Clean Power” • Simris, a thousand year old village with a population of about 200, has shown that operating independently from the national grid is technologically possible. Villagers use locally produced renewable energy stored in freezer-sized batteries in their homes. [HT Auto – Hindustan Times]

¶ “Flying Giant Returning To Ireland After 300 Years” • Giant birds that have been part of Irish folklore could be returning to the island after an absence of more than 300 years. There is a pair of cranes nesting on a rewetted peat bog owned by former peat producer Bord na Móna. The peat harvests had stopped at the site in January. [BBC]

Crane in Spain (Santiago Lacarta, Unsplash)

¶ “TEPCO Studying Where To Release Treated Water” • The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is studying details of a plan to release treated water that has been accumulating at the plant into the ocean. The company is said to be looking mainly at two options, release from outlets near the shore or through a submarine pipeline. [NKH]

US:

¶ “Rivian Shows Up To Support EV Owners Fighting For EV Freedom In Connecticut” • Connecticut EV owners are fighting for their right to buy EVs in their state, as local dealerships try to block the bill. Now Rivian is lending EVs owners support. The EV Club of Connecticut and the Tesla Owners Club of Connecticut shared their experiences. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian pickup truck (Rivian image)

¶ “California Governor Newsom Taps Budget Surplus For Clean Energy” • Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his administration’s revised budget, known casually as the May Revise, culminating a weeklong tour to promote a “$100 billion California Comeback Plan.” The comeback includes a return to addressing the climate emergency. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nevada Aims To Plug Vehicles Into Renewable Energy” • In Nevada, the legislature is considering a bill that would help the state drive on cleaner, cheaper electricity. SB 448 would speed approvals of transmission lines for low-cost, renewable electricity in the region and would accelerate the deployment of EVs fueled by that clean electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian electric SUV (Rivian image)

¶ “GOP Representative Meijer: Republican Resistance To Climate Science Could Doom The Party” • Representative Peter Meijer, a young Republican congressman from Michigan, said he believes his party has to dramatically change their position on climate science. If they don’t, he says, they could doom themselves with younger voters. [Hill Reporter]

¶ “Exxon Mobil’s Messaging Shifted Blame For Warming To Consumers” • Exxon Mobil Corp has used language to systematically shift blame for climate change from fossil fuel companies and onto consumers, according to a paper by researchers at Harvard University. The paper was published in the journal One Earth. [Scientific American]

Have a happily arranged day.

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May 15 Energy News

May 15, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Clean Cars Minnesota: A Win For Public Health, Innovation, And The Environment” • A Minnesota administrative law judge ruled the state can proceed to finalize new clean car standards. The rules will increase the availability and number of clean car models. They also protect people’s health. It’s time for legislators to stop blocking them. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT (Image courtesy of Ford)

¶ “Europe Needs Over 30 Battery Gigafactories By 2025” • Many people are switching to all electric vehicles before price parity is reached for safety and low cost of ownership. With price parity, the market for vehicles with a tailpipe will almost vanish, faster than the legacy car managers’ worst nightmares. But that means lots of batteries are needed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Does Nuclear Power Really Keep The Lights On?” • The nuclear industry is fond of telling us the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow. But things are a bit more complicated than that. Advances in renewable energy and storage mean that baseload power provided by nuclear reactors is no longer needed. [MSN]

Nuclear plant (Frédéric Paulussen, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Vestas V150 Wind Turbines Surpass Major Milestone: 5 GW In Orders” • Vestas, which designs, manufactures, installs, and services onshore and offshore wind turbines worldwide, scored a huge win in Brazil recently with a 212-MW order. That order means that Vestas is surpassing 5 GW in total order intakes of its V150-4.2 MW turbines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “VW ID. Buzz With Level 4 Autonomy Scheduled To Begin Real-World Testing This Year” • Illustrations showing the VW ID. Buzz equipped with self-driving hardware have been around the internet for some months. This week the company released more details about its plans to tap the mobility-as-a-service market with that particular vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID. Buzz (Image courtesy Volkswagen)

¶ “TIM Strikes Deal With ERG For Renewable Energy” • ERG, through its subsidiary ERG Power Generation, and TIM, leading Group in Italy and Brazil in the ICT sector, through its subsidiary Telenergia, have signed a ten-year corporate Power Purchase Agreement for the supply of 3.4 TWh of green energy for the period 2022-2031. [Total Telecom]

US:

¶ “US West Likely To Have Tough 2021 Due To Drought” • US officials expect climate-fueled heat and drought to drive a fire season in the West at least as bad as last year. Projections are so bad that hatcheries in Northern California are trucking salmon to the ocean instead of releasing them into dangerously low rivers with unsafely warm waters. [CleanTechnica]

California (Vladimir Kudinov, Unsplash)

¶ “Pipeline Company Shut Down Its Own Pipeline, Paid Ransom” • The ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline did not actually affect its operations, but made the company afraid it wouldn’t be able to figure out how much to bill its customers, according to a CNN report. So it shut down, causing fuel panic in the Southeast, and paid ransom. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hyundai Commits To $7.4 Billion Program To Build Electric Cars In US” • The Biden administration is proposing an array of policy measures to encourage the sale of electric cars in the US, provided they are built in the US by American workers. Hyundai Group responded with an announcement that it plans to invest $7.4 billion in the US by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai EV (Hyundai image)

¶ “Clean Energy Advocates Say Industry Will Slow If Lawmakers Fail To Increase Renewable Energy Goals” • Pennsylvania is set to meet its renewable energy goals, as utilities will meet the final goal of buying 8% of their electricity from renewable sources, with 0.5% coming from solar, by May 31. A slowdown will cost investments and jobs. [StateImpact – NPR]

¶ “Ravenswood Generating Station On Track To Become A Renewable Energy Hub” • Ravenswood Generating Station could be home to renewable energy transported from upstate New York by 2026, its owner announced. The proposed Catskills Renewable Program would supplying an estimated 15% of New York City’s energy. [Queens Daily Eagle]

Ravenswood Generating Station (King of Hearts, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Report: Transmission Tax Credit Could Unlock 30 GW Of Renewables, Spur Over $15 Billion In Private Capital” • Enabling a transmission investment tax credit could spur $15.3 billion in private capital investment, enable an additional 30 GW of renewables energy capacity and create 650,000 “good paying jobs,” in the near term, a report says. [Utility Dive]

¶ “EPA Issues First Climate Update Since 2016” • The five years since the EPA last updated its climate-science scorecard have been five of the six hottest years on record, in which California has endured three of its five most destructive wildfires. Now, the EPA published new data showing in greater detail how climate change is affecting the US. [NWI Times]

Have a radically nifty day.

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May 14 Energy News

May 14, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “‘An 8th-Grader Could Have Hacked’ The Colonial Pipeline” • Its owners should not be surprised that the Colonial Pipeline was hacked. An outside audit of its cyberattack defenses, delivered to the company more than three years ago, described “atrocious” information management practices and “a patchwork of poorly connected and secured systems.” [CleanTechnica]

Colonial Pipeline (Image by Colonial Pipeline Co, via BBC)

¶ “Why Japan’s Plan For Fukushima Wastewater Lacks Public Trust” • The Japanese government says the treated water at Fukushima Daiichi is safe to release. But it is not the same as other tritium water routinely released to the sea. The treated water at Fukushima may contain other radioactive materials that are highly toxic. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Most Intense Firestorms In The World” • When a wildfire reaches epic proportions, it changes everything around it – even creating its own weather. A pyrocumulmonimbus, or “pyroCb” is a thunderstorm generated by fire that creates positive feedback loops, with winds, lightning, and sometimes deadly downdrafts that spread the fire outwards. [BBC]

Smoke from a PyroCb (David Peterson, NASA Earth Observatory)

¶ “Dartmouth Study Shows Renewable Energy Enhances Power Grid’s Resilience” • Integrating renewable energy into the US electric power system would enhance the grid’s resilience, so a highly resilient and decarbonized energy system is possible, according to new research from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering. [NH Business Review]

World:

¶ “Paris Seeks To Ban Through Traffic In City Center By 2022” • A plan to drastically reduce car traffic in the center of the French capital Paris by 2022 has been put forward by the city council. The scheme would ban through traffic in four central districts, giving priority instead to cyclists, pedestrians, and the public transportation system. [BBC]

Paris (John Towner, Unsplash)

¶ “COP26: Alok Sharma Urges Nations To Banish Coal” • Alok Sharma, former UK Business Secretary and now president of COP26, says his priority is to banish coal. Speaking ahead of the COP26 conference, which is to happen in November, he will urge rich countries to lead the way, helping poorer nations abandon coal power generation. [BBC]

¶ “Acciona Feeds Green Power To Spanish Biofuels Crew” • A Spanish company, Acciona, made a one-year deal to supply 100% renewable electricity to compatriot biofuels manufacturer Vertex Bioenergy. It will deliver 140,000 MWh of electricity to Vertex’s facilities and operations in Spain, including the bioethanol plants in Salamanca, La Coruna, and Murcia. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Acciona image)

¶ “Solar Panels Are Key To Biden’s Energy Plan. But The Global Supply Chain May Rely On Forced Labor From China” • China’s Xinjiang region is a major production hub for the parts needed to build solar panels. But new research suggests that much of that work could rely on the exploitation of the region’s Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities. [CNN]

¶ “Amazon Eyes Offshore Wind In Japan” • According to a report by financial news group Nikkei, Amazon is in discussions with Japanese power companies and trading houses to buy electricity from renewable energy projects in Japan, including offshore windpower. Amazon is looking at ways to buy green energy to supply to its Japanese data centers. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Insung Yoon, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Output Up Nearly 160% During January Through April” • Vietnam’s total production of electricity from renewable energies hit 9.5 billion kWh in the first four months of 2021. The figure is up 156.9% year-on-year. Renewable resources now account for 11.8% of the total electricity output, according to a report by Vietnam Electricity. [Nhan Dan]

US:

¶ “Eviation Is Closer To Launching Commercial Electric Airplane Service – Alice Gets An EPU” • Eviation Aircraft is developing efficient electric aircraft with the goal of making electric aviation competitive. It is a step closer to launching commercial electric flights, after taking delivery of its first electric propulsion unit for its first aircraft, Alice. [CleanTechnica]

Eviation Alice electric airplane (Courtesy of Eviation)

¶ “Exxon Uses Big Tobacco’s Playbook To Downplay The Climate Crisis, Harvard Study Finds” • For decades, ExxonMobil has used Big Tobacco-like propaganda to downplay the climate crisis, shift blame onto consumers, and protect its interests, a peer-reviewed Harvard University study found. One author said a central reason for our fossil fuels reliance is “disinformation.” [CNN]

¶ “The Transformation Of Appalachian Coalfields Into Solar Farms Is Starting” • Sun Tribe Development plans to be the first to generate large-scale renewable power on the coalfields of Central Appalachia, Energy News Network reports. It is developing up to 75 MW of solar power on deforested mine lands in Virginia and Tennessee. [CleanTechnica]

Solar farm (Image courtesy of Sun Tribe Development)

¶ “Texas Wants To Charge Tesla And Other EV Owners About $400 In Annual Fees For Owning An EV” • Recently, legislators in Texas took a pretty harsh stance against owners of EVs when they proposed Senate Bill 1728. The claim was that EV owners need to pay their fair share and they have to make up for fuel taxes that they don’t pay. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Line 5 Pipeline Continues Operation, Violating Michigan Order” • Enbridge continued operating its Line 5 oil pipeline through the environmentally ultra-sensitive Straits of Mackinac, defying an order by Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer to shut down the pipeline. Enbridge said it would halt operations if a court told it to do so. [CleanTechnica]

Have an amusingly perfect day.

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May 13 Energy News

May 13, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Now’s The Time For Bold Investments In Transportation” • President Biden has proposed an infrastructure measure that is historic in its ambition and the House of Representatives is at work to improve an ambitious proposal it passed last year. But the Senate committee is considering a measure that is, sadly, not up to the task. [CleanTechnica]

New Flyer Excelsior bus (Image courtesy of New Flyer)

¶ “No to Nukes” • All Canadians should be concerned that the Trudeau government is spending $50.5 million on small nuclear reactor research. The Union of Concerned Scientists says small nuclear power plants are no use in the climate crisis; they are unsafe, costly, unproven, and clearly linked to military weapons manufacturing. [National Observer]

¶ “Fusion: Ten Times More Expensive Than Nuclear Power” • The US and world fusion energy research programs are developing something that no one will want or can afford. The ITER tokamak experiment was originally envisioned to cost roughly $5 billion, but now is projected to be $22 billion, or possibly $65 billion. [RealClearEnergy]

Fusion reactor (US DOE image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “If Paris Goals Are Not Met, Sea Level Rise May Become Unstoppable By 2060” • A study published in the journal Nature examines what most likely will happen to global sea levels if the average global temperature increases 3ºC. They say that would cause the Antarctic ice sheet to melt entirely over time, raising sea levels 57.9 meters (190 feet). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Want A Heart Attack? Move Closer To A Natural Gas Fracking Site” • Fracking might not be good for your heart. The Journal of Environmental Research published a study that found middle-aged men living near fracking sites in Pennsylvania were more than 5% more likely to die of a heart attack than their counterparts where fracking is banned. [CleanTechnica]

Fracking (Image courtesy of NASA, ClimateKids)

World:

¶ “BP Venture Plans Largest Renewables Hub Yet As Oil Giant Piles Into Green Power” • Lightsource BP secured the planning go-ahead to create its biggest solar complex globally to date at 600 MW. It is another step to meeting the oil supermajor’s ambitious renewable energy targets. The Wellington PV project is in New South Wales. [Upstream Online]

¶ “Renewables Permitting Reform Key To EU Green Goals” • Europe needs to improve permitting procedures for new, repowered, and hybrid renewables projects if it is to meet its Green Deal goals, WindEurope said. Its position paper said the bloc should not only mandate a permitting speedup but also show countries how to do it. [reNEWS]

Windfarm (WindEurope image)

¶ “North Rhine-Westphalia Informs Entrepreneurs On Renewable Energy” • The Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digitisation, and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia announced an information roadshow “More photovoltaics on commercial roofs – Campaign 2021+.” It is to expand rooftop PVs at industrial and commercial sites. [TheMayor.EU]

¶ “Statkraft To Build 234-MW Spanish Solar Plant” • Statkraft is to invest €200 million to construct four new solar plants in southern Spain totaling 234 MW. The projects are co-located within an eight-kilometre radius of each other in the Cadiz region. Three of the four plants have already received their construction permits. [reNEWS]

Solar plant (A Garcia, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “US Environmental Agency Releases Climate Report Delayed By Trump” • The US EPA said for the first time that climate change is being driven at least in part by humans. The agency made the acknowledgement in a new report that had been delayed by the Trump White House since 2017. Mr Trump called human-caused climate change a “hoax.” [BBC]

¶ “The Strange Deal That Created A Ghost Town” • The JM Gavin coal-burning power station is the seventh-largest emitter of CO₂ of all power stations in the US. In 2019 it emitted 12.9 million tonnes of CO₂ into the atmosphere. The power plant’s emissions are also responsible for the demise of the entire community of Cheshire, Ohio. [BBC]

Cheshire, Ohio in 2004 (Analogue Kid, CC-BY-SA 2.5)

¶ “Illinois To See Significant Public Health Benefits In A 100% Carbon-Free Future” • In Illinois, coal plants are closing earlier than previously expected. This not only makes sense from an economic standpoint, but also has health benefits as well, since burning less fossil fuel for energy means healthier air for all of us to breathe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Suspends Bitcoin Vehicle Purchases Due To Impacts Of Mining And Transactions On The Environment” • In the past, Tesla has accepted Bitcoin as payment for cars. But Elon Musk has tweeted that Tesla suspended use of Bitcoin for vehicle purchases. He said the reason was Bitcoin’s growing dependence on energy from nfossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Representation of Bitcoin (André François McKenzie, Unsplash)
In fact, Bitcoin is a virtual currency – it has no physical reality.

¶ “Gas Stations Dry As Pipeline Shutdown Drives Panic, Chaos” • Long lines of drivers formed at gas stations across the South – except for the stations that had already run out of gas – as the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline caused panic buying and chaos. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the pipeline will soon be operating. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Over 660 Groups Call On Democrats To ‘Reject Gas And Other False Climate Solutions’ For Clean Energy Standard” • Over 660 progressive groups demanded that top Democrats in Congress “reject gas and other false climate solutions” and push for a total transition to renewable energy to address the global climate emergency. [Common Dreams]

Have a monumentally comfy day.

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May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Hitting The EV Inflection Point In Europe” • Can the entire EU go to 100% electric car and van sales by 2035 in order to decarbonize road transport by 2050? Can a small business as well as an average family, whether living in a city or a village, make the switch? Bloomberg New Energy Finance did an analysis and gave a clear answer: Yes. [CleanTechnica]

Inflection point (T&E and Bloomberg)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Transitions To LFP Battery Cells For Megapack Battery Installations” • Multiple news sources are reporting that Tesla has begun using lithium-iron phosphate (aka LiFPO₄) battery cells in its Megapack grid-scale storage systems. LFP has advantages, and some disadvantages, when compared to other more commonly used lithium batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EMEC Assesses New York Tidal Turbine Output” • EMEC delivered the world’s first internationally recognized power performance assessment to Verdant Power for its Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy array in New York. In a 39-day test, Verdant Power’s turbines had availability of over 99% and generated 187 kW at peak flood tide velocity. [reNEWS]

Tidal turbine installation (Verdant Power image)

¶ “Coral Reef Restorations Can Be Optimized To Reduce Flood Risk” • New guidelines for coral reef restoration aiming to reduce the risk of flooding were published in Frontiers in Marine Science. The guidelines aim to optimize restoration efforts not only for the benefit of the ecosystem, but also to protect the coast and people living on it. [EurekAlert!]

World:

¶ “Throwing Money At Schemes Ineffective – Charity” • A report by Third World Network says rich countries “throwing money” at enhancing biodiversity is ineffective. It calls for “a profound re-organisation of the global post-pandemic economy to prevent further harm to the planet,” and it recommends nothing less than a “change in our entire economic model.” [BBC]

New Zealand (Tomas Sobek, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy On Back Burner With Gas Confirmed As Budget Focus” • Australia’s treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, unveiled a big budget. Critics were quick to condemn it for a lack of money set aside for renewable energy. They called it a point of “national shame” and missed opportunity as Australia continues to pursue a gas-led philosophy. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Ilmatar Finds €42 Million In Funding For Two Finnish Projects” • Ilmatar Energy has secured €42 million of senior debt commitments for two onshore wind projects in Finland. Under the agreement, Ilmatar remains the sole owner of the 25.8-MW Voimamylly project and the 48-MW Rasakangas project. Work on the latter has already begun. [reNEWS]

Wind project (Image via Unsplash)

¶ “UNDP Extends Philippine Renewable Energy Program” • The United Nations Development Programme has extended the Development for Renewable Energy Applications Mainstreaming and Market Sustainability program to January 2023, according to the Philippine Department of Energy. The project had run into delays due to the pandemic. [BusinessWorld]

US:

¶ “Drought Emergency Declared In Most Of California Amid ‘Acute Water Supply Shortfalls'” • California Governor Gavin Newsom expanded a drought emergency across most of the parched state, covering a vast stretch of the central and northern regions of the state as it endures its second major drought in less than a decade. [CNN]

California highway (Peter Mizsak, Unsplash)

¶ “US Petrol Supplies Tighten After Colonial Pipeline Hack” • Motorists in the Southeast have been urged to not hoard fuel as supplies tighten due to a major pipeline remaining shut after a cyber-attack. North Carolina, Virginia and Florida have declared a state of emergency. The average price for gasoline rose to $2.98 per gallon. [BBC]

¶ “Navajo Nation Methane Pollution Rate Double National Average” • Methane pollution from oil and gas extraction on Navajo Nation lands harms the health of local residents and robs the tribe of critical income, writes Hannah Grover for the New Mexico Political Report. An EDF report found the leak rate is twice the US average. [CleanTechnica]

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park (Cayetano Gil, Unsplash)

¶ “Keene Passed Its Community Power Plan. What Comes Next?” • Keene became the first municipality in New Hampshire to pass a community power program, in a move to give the city more control over the local electricity supply. But there are still details that need to be addressed. One is to submit the plan to the NH Public Utilities Commission. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ “Colorado Springs Utilities Pushes Ahead Toward Renewable Energy” • The migration away from fossil fuels to renewables requires new ways to deliver power to customers. Colorado Springs Utilities is all in on finding ways to wean the city off fossil fuels, such as microgrids. It is creating an Advanced Technologies Campus. [Colorado Springs Independent]

Advanced Technologies Campus (Colorado Springs Utilities)

¶ “Markey, Warren Ask NRC For Stricter Conditions At Seabrook Station” • Massachusetts Democratic Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the NRC, in which they called for stronger safety standards at the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant. One of their main concerns is alkali-silica reaction degradation. [Gloucester Times]

¶ “US May Consider Nuclear Subsidies” • New subsidies, in the form of “production tax credits,” could be included in President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar legislative effort to invest in infrastructure and jobs, sources said. Wind and solar power already benefit from tax rebates based on the levels of energy they generate. [Nuclear Engineering International]

Have an outrageously uplifting day.

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May 11 Energy News

May 11, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Insular Areas Climate Change Act: Strengthen Territories’ Response To Climate Disasters And Protect Those Who Are Most Vulnerable” • The Insular Areas Climate Change Act is a bill now in a public comment process intended to reduce climate impacts in unincorporated US island territories. It is a good starting point to address their climate impacts. [CleanTechnica]

US Virgin Islands (Josh Duncan, Unsplash)

¶ “USA Falling Way, Way, Way Behind In Floating Offshore Wind Race” • South Korea only has 8,640 miles of coastline and it is already moving forward with plans to build the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm. Meanwhile the US weighs in at 95,471 miles of coast and it barely has any steel in the water. So what gives? [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Big Utilities’ Climate Pledges Fall Short” • Can a utility company be carbon neutral by 2050 if it builds a gas plant now? Maybe if it shuts off the gas plant well before its 40 years of useful life are complete, leaving electric customers to pay off millions in debt. Here is an edition of the Local Energy Rules podcast that addresses this issue. [CleanTechnica]

Transmission lines (Matthew Henry, Unsplash)

¶ “Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull Fact-Checked” • In an opinion piece in The Guardian, former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull warned, “With more than 70% of Australia’s trade now with countries committed to net zero, the prospect of carbon-border taxes being introduced.” ABC’s fact-checking showed they were right. [ABC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “ASKA Flying Car Showroom Opens And Offers Pre-Orders” • The term ‘flying car’ is sometimes used to describe an eVTOL, but it’s usually inaccurate. Most eVTOLs are designed purely for flight and not for road transport. But NFT Inc has a mission to develop a vehicle that is capable of traversing both the roads and the sky – the ASKA flying car. [CleanTechnica]

ASKA flying car (ASKA image)

¶ “Mind-Boggling Magnets Could Unlock Plentiful Power” • A fusion reaction is what makes the sun hot. But to make fusion happen here on Earth, you have to heat hydrogen isotopes to hundreds of millions of degrees and hold them in a container that can deal with something that hot. A set of mind-bogglingly powerful magnets can do that. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Forests The Size Of France Regrown Since 2000, Study Suggests” • An area of forest the size of France has regrown naturally across the world in the last 20 years, a study suggests. The restored forests have the potential to soak up the equivalent of 5.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide – more than the annual emissions of the US. [BBC]

Forest (Milk-Tea, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Sources Grew At Fastest Rate In Two Decades Last Year” • Renewable sources of electricity, including wind and solar, grew at their fastest rate in two decades in 2020 and are set to expand even more rapidly over the next two years, with high-capacity renewables likely to account for about 90% of new global power capacity. [The Globe and Mail]

¶ “BNEF Predicts Electric Cars Will Be Cheaper In Europe Than Conventional Cars By 2027” • Recently, Transport & Environment asked Bloomberg New Energy Finance to determine when EVs will become less expensive to manufacture than conventional cars with gasoline engines. The answer from BNEF is that will happen in 2027. [CleanTechnica]

Charging Porsches (Porsche image)

¶ “Construction Starts At South Africa’s Biggest Renewable Energy Project” • Construction of the Redstone Concentrated Solar Plant in the Northern Cape province has commenced. The Redstone plant will be equipped with a 12-hour thermal storage system that will deliver clean and reliable electricity to nearly 200,000 households round the clock. [ITWeb]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy And Toshiba Announce Strategic Partnership Agreement On Offshore Wind In Japan” • Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corp and GE Renewable Energy announced that they signed a strategic partnership agreement. It will help GE’s offshore wind technology to be more competitive in Japan. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

GE wind turbine (Courtesy of GE Renewable Energy)

US:

¶ “California PV+Storage Project Inks Offtake” • Vesper Energy and Desert Community Energy have entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement for all of the energy produced from the Deer Creek 50-MW Solar plus 200-MWh storage project in California. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022 and be completed in 2023. [reNEWS]

¶ “California Targets ‘Diesel Death Zones’ With New Rule” • Southern California air quality regulators approved a rule to reduce the air pollution related to the approximately 3,000 logistics warehouses that have proliferated in the region. New safeguards aim to decrease pollution that has concentrated in “diesel death zones.” [CleanTechnica]

Volvo electric trucks (Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

¶ “Looking At Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Future” • More solar projects are coming to Wisconsin as it moves away from fossil fuels. On Earth Day, the state’s Public Service Commission approved Madison-based Alliant Energy’s plans to spend nearly $1 billion on new solar plants as part of its plans to phase out coal-fired generators. [WGLR]

¶ “Big Island On Pace To Meet Renewable Energy Goals In Two Years” • Three large solar projects in the works on Hawaii island are bolstering the island’s renewal energy supply. They are big enough that the island should hit 100% of its renewable energy standards by 2023, Hawaiian Electric Co says. By 2024, that rate could jump to 110%. [Honolulu Civil Beat]

Have an exquisitely fabulous day.

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May 10 Energy News

May 10, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Six Innovative Funding Methods To Achieve Climate Action And Equity In US Cities” • US city budgets are tighter than ever due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, as cities increasingly recognize that climate action can deliver multiple benefits, they are finding innovative funding methods to simultaneously address inequity and climate. [CleanTechnica]

Grand Rapids (Ben Zelenka, Unsplash)

¶ “Nuclear Plants A Big Security Risk” • As Taiwan’s August referendum on completing its Fourth Nuclear Power Plant approaches, there is one question that has not yet been fully considered. It is to what extent this and Taiwan’s other three plants are military liabilities. Could they be radioactive targets that China aims to attack? [Taipei Times]

¶ “Indonesia’s Coal Industry Is On Its Last Legs” • The pot of money for coal power is drying up. South Korea announced last month it will no longer provide financial support for overseas coal projects. Now China seems to be the only country willing to provide the immense financial aid that Indonesia’s bloated coal industry needs to keep going. [CNA]

Indonesia (Arto Marttinen, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Government Urged To Update 2030 Renewable Energy Targets” • A report by RenewableUK calls on the government to update its 2030 targets for renewable energy capacity. It suggests the recently announced target of 78% cut in CO₂ emissions will need new commitments for onshore wind, floating wind, green hydrogen, and marine energy. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Porsche Planning New Platforms For Electric Macan And Boxster/Cayman Twins” • Porsche is busy putting the finishing touches on its new Premium Performance Electric battery electric platform, which will form the basis of a battery electric version of the Macan. The electric Macan is expected to go on sale in 2023. [CleanTechnica]

Porsche Macan EV prototypes in Germany (Porsche image)

¶ “Asian Development Bank To End Financing Of Coal, Oil, And Gas” • The Asian Development Bank may stop financing new coal-fired power capacity, as well as oil and gas exploration and production, according to a draft policy statement. The draft will be deliberated by ADBs board of directors in October. Critics say the policy is already ten years late. [Energy Voice]

¶ “Inside Kenya’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Revolution” • Demand for solar energy in Kenya has risen over the past few years as ratepayers turn to it to beat the high cost of electricity. Kenya Power said industrial customers accounting for nearly 55% of its sales revenues have begun generating their own electricity using solar power. [Construction Kenya]

Solar array (Nows92, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Leaked EU Report Reveals Ambitious Renewables Agenda” • The European Commission intends to ask EU Member States to make an additional effort to increase their share of renewable energy in the power mix, according to a leaked draft of an official document. Brussels wants to upgrade its current 32% renewable energy target for 2030 to at least 38%. [Oil Price]

¶ “More Than 350,000 Solar Panels To Lower Costs And Reduce Emissions” • In a major milestone for the $300 million project, 367,769 solar panels have been installed at 33 South Australian Water treatment plants and pump stations. This includes 30,000 solar panels at Happy Valley Reservoir, the world’s largest fully movable solar array. [Premier of South Australia]

US:

¶ “US Passes Emergency Waiver Over Fuel Pipeline Cyber-Attack” • The US government issued emergency legislation after the largest fuel pipeline in the US was completely shut down by a ransomware cyber-attack. The Colonial Pipeline carries 2.5 million barrels a day – 45% of the East Coast’s supply of diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel. [BBC]

¶ “Legacy Auto Paid To Advertise EVs On SNL Last Night, While Tesla’s Elon Musk Hosted” • In a move that proves that Tesla is the leader of the auto industry in at least one sense, legacy automakers – Ford, Audi, and VW scrambled to get some EV advertising on Saturday Night Live last night. And Lucid joined them in this endeavor. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot of SNL show (Nyasha-mercy via Twitter)

¶ “Biden Administration Outlines The ‘America The Beautiful’ Initiative” • In a clean break from the anti-nature politics and policies of the previous administration, the new Biden-Harris administration has begun to outline a different vision for how the US can work collaboratively to conserve and restore public lands, waters and wildlife. [New American Journal]

¶ “UNFI’s Plan To Reduce Emissions: Adopting Zero-Emissions Emerging Transportation Technology” • United Natural Foods, Inc has a plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emission footprint in California. It is adding 53 all-electric transport refrigerated trail units to its fleet at the Riverside distribution center, complete with solar panels on the trailers. [CleanTechnica]

Have an eminently successful day.

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May 9 Energy News

May 9, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “California Energy Commission Proposal Makes Important Climate Progress, But Falls Short Of Widely Supported All-Electric Building Code” • The California Energy Commission released its official proposal for the 2022 California Energy Code, which, if finalized, will help advance the state toward pollution-free homes and buildings. [CleanTechnica]

San Francisco (Timo Strohmann, Unsplash)

¶ “Oil, Gas, And Chemical Companies Don’t Want Louisiana Residents To Know What’s In The Air” • A Louisiana legislative committee rejected a bill that would have required 473 plants to install real-time air monitoring systems. The bill was inspired by concerns of voters after last year’s explosion and fire at the ExxonMobile refinery. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Comparing The Best Electric Cars For 2021” • There are two ways to consider what the best electric cars on the market are. One way is to consider what the absolute best cars are, regardless of price. The other way is to consider what the best cars are when taking price into account. Or, as this article does, you can include a little bit of both. [CleanTechnica]

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV (Photo courtesy of Chevrolet)

World:

¶ “India Announces $600 Million Incentives Scheme For Solar Manufacturing” • The Indian government has announced a new incentive scheme to boost manufacturing in the solar power sector. Through this scheme, the government plans to disburse more than $600 million in production-linked incentives over the next five years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volta Trucks Road-To-Zero Emissions Strategy” • Volta Trucks has laid out its Road-to-Zero Emissions strategy and is launching four full-electric commercial vehicles. The trucks will be range in size from 7.5 tonnes to 19 tonnes and manufactured at multiple facilities. The target is set to 27,000 vehicle sales annually across expanded markets. [CleanTechnica]

Volta truck in Madrid (Volta Trucks image)

¶ “Indonesia’s Electricity Body PLN Pledges Carbon Neutrality By 2050” • Indonesia’s state-owned electricity monopoly PLN has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050 with a plan to phase out fossil fuel-fired power plants and use more renewable energy in its networks. PLN’s electricity production is expected to grow 4.7% annually to 2050. [The Star]

¶ “Ameresco Completes Wind Project in Kefalonia, Greece” • Ameresco, a cleantech integrator specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, announced its wind turbine project at Xerakia Dilinata of the Municipality of Kefalonia, Greece has completed construction and is in operation. The project has four 2.3-MW turbines. [Framingham SOURCE]

Kefalonia wind project (Ameresco image)

¶ “Azerbaijan Reveals Prices For Electricity To Be Produced By New Solar And Wind Power Plants” • The energy ministry of Azerbaijan revealed prices for the electricity to be generated by the country’s solar and wind power plants operated by the Arabic companies. The wholesale price of the electricity will be 0.06 Azerbaijani Manat (3.5¢/kWh). [Caspian News]

US:

¶ “99.7% Of New US Power Capacity Was Solar And Wind In January And February” • New US power capacity in the first two months of 2021 came almost exclusively from wind and solar power plants, data from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shows. Wind and solar power provided 99.7% of all new large-scale power capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “EV Chargers At Ford’s Research Center To Be Powered By Rooftop Solar Array” • The onsite EV chargers at Ford’s Research & Engineering Center will be powered by 2,159 panels of a solar array on the roof of its parking structure. The solar array was installed by DTE Energy. Ford said its carbon benefits are equal to nearly 980 acres of forest. [HT Auto]

¶ “Legislature Votes To Reduce Government Regulation Of Renewable Energy” • The Alaska Legislature passed Senate Bill 69, encouraging private investment in renewable energy projects by extending an exemption from duplicative regulations for independent power producers. The bill passed the Senate 18-0 and the House 36-1. [Alaska Native News]

Wind farm on Kodiak Island (James Brooks, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “New Climate Data Show Spokane Summers Are Hotter And Drier” • It doesn’t take a climate science degree to sense that Spokane summers are getting hotter and drier, but science has confirmed that. A report shows that over the last three decades, average temperatures in Spokane have increased by 1.2°F in July compared to a decade ago. [The Spokesman-Review]

¶ “New Jersey Adopts Climate Change As A Part Of Its Core Curriculum In All Public Schools” • Chatham High School is one of more than 2,000 public schools in New Jersey implementing a curriculum including climate change in the fall. The school’s science supervisor says the new curriculum will be incorporated across every subject. [WNYC]

Have a coolly insightful day.

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May 8 Energy News

May 8, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Batteries Spark Biden’s Infrastructure And Jobs Promise” • President Biden’s infrastructure plan (The American Jobs Plan) aligns recovery stimulus and climate action. The green stimulus can create jobs. To date, stimulus hasn’t been that green overall globally but the US plan will make a positive difference for our nation and the planet. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra battery factory (Image courtesy of Proterra)

¶ “How FERC Transmission Reform Can End The Delay Of A Cleaner Future” • The electric utility industry was organized and dominated by monopolies for their own purposes. The logic of a monopoly does not support improving access to new, competing supplies that a neighboring region might develop and export. All that is starting to change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Equinor Blazes A Renewable Path, But Can Other Oil Companies Follow?” • Up until 2018, the Norwegian company Statoil was one of the integrated supermajor oil companies. The company changed its name to Equinor in 2018, and shifted its direction in company strategy. Now it aims for net-zero by 2050. Can other oil companies do that? [Forbes]

Dudgeon offshore wind farm (Sonja Chirico Indrebø, Equinor)

¶ “Gasoline Shortages Could Ruin Summer Travel Plans And Sell EVs” • After being driven slowly insane by a year of isolation, Americans are ready to hit the open road this summer. There’s one problem: gas stations are already having trouble getting gas in, and people are going to need a lot more when travel season is in full swing. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise” • Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45% over the course of this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed report, the Global Methane Assessment. [Saudi Gazette]

Emissions (Daniel Moqvist, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “China’s Annual Emissions Surpass Those Of All Developed Nations Combined, Report Finds” • China’s annual emissions exceeded those of all developed nations combined in 2019, the first time this has happened since national greenhouse gas emissions have been measured, according to a report from the Rhodium Group. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Director Of Energy On Transition To Renewables: ‘It’s Happening Quickly'” • Mark Twidell, Director of Energy at Tesla, was recently in Adelaide, South Australia, where he spoke at a Southstart entrepreneur’s conference, Financial Review reported. In his talk, he emphasized just how fast the renewables transition is happening. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in South Australia (HikerJules, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “South Korea Unveils 6-GW Floating Ambitions” • South Korea has unveiled plans to build a 6-GW floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Ulsan by 2030. President Moon Jae-in said the project would require an investment totaling KRW36 trillion (€27 billion, $32.35 billion ), create 210,000 jobs and deliver enough electricity for 5.76 million homes. [reNEWS]

¶ “Atlas Renewable Energy Secures Loan For 359-MW Solar Plant In Brazil” • Latin America-focused solar developer Atlas Renewable Energy has obtained a $150 million loan to finance the construction of its 359-MW Lar do Sol – Casablanca PV project in Brazil. The project will supply power to mining company Anglo American. [PV Tech]

Atlas solar project in Brazil (Atlas Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Nearly 100% Renewables: Wind Leads Turkey’s Energy Installations” • Wind power plants accounted for 51.5% of the additional power capacity installations in Turkey from January through April. Looking at all types of installations, renewable resources accounted for 97.5% of new capacity during the first four months of the year. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “How An Oil Company Becomes A Renewables Company” • Norway’s state-owned oil producer, Equinor ASA, posted more than $2.6 billion of earnings in the first quarter of 2021, 49% of which was from renewable energy. Last quarter, Equinor earned more from renewables than it did from oil and gas exploration and production. [gCaptain]

Dudgeon offshore wind farm (Sonja Chirico Indrebø, Equinor)

US:

¶ “Minnesota To Become First Midwest Clean Cars State” • The proposal to adopt a Clean Cars Minnesota program has been given a green light. An Administrative Law Judge ruled that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency could move forward, after extensive process with thousands of public comments and filings by stakeholders. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NASA Reboots Its Role In Fighting Climate Change” • NASA is best known for exploring other worlds, whether that’s sending astronauts to the Moon or flying helicopters on Mars. But under US President Joe Biden, the space agency intends to boost its reputation as a major player in studying Earth, especially to fight climate change. [Nature]

Earth (Carl Hostetter, NASA EPIC Team)

¶ “California Develops Proposal To Achieve Clean Vehicle Future” • Transportation now the largest US source of carbon pollution, but California, a global leader in EV deployment and policy innovation, is working on that. It presented plans for the next round of its Advanced Clean Cars program, which requires all new vehicles to be electric by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Ammonia Trickling Into Louisiana Like A Boss” • Louisiana has had a lot of jobs in natural gas. But now, some interesting news about green ammonia that just popped up on the old CleanTechnica radar could become important for the Pelican State, as it seeks firmer footing in the emerging green economy. [CleanTechnica]

Have a thoroughly delightful day.

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May 7 Energy News

May 7, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Rooftop Solar Power Comes With Huge “Soft” Benefit Over Utility-Scale Power – Oodles Of Jobs!” • Any policymaker should love creating jobs, and as John Farrell pointed out, rooftop solar power creates nearly 30 times more jobs than utility-scale solar power for the same money. That could be hundreds of thousands of more jobs in a region. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar installer (Kate Costa, US DOE)

¶ “Small Cargo EVs For Cities Could Be A Game Changer” • When I ordered some groceries from a local supermarket, a very big lorry arrived to drop them off. I was surprised to see that my groceries were all that was in the back of that huge lorry. That is inefficient, to say the least. Small autonomous electric cargo vans could be a game changer. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “UK Developer Toasts 40-MW Ukraine Wind” • UK-based Elementum Energy has started commercial operations at the 40-MW Dnistrovska 1 wind farm in Ukraine. The project, which features 10 GE 137-4.0MW turbines on 131-meter towers, achieved mechanical completion in December 2020 and has now entered into production. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Elementum Energy image)

¶ “Volkswagen ID.4 Is Mopping Up In Europe – April Sales Chart” • The Volkswagen ID.3 seems like it just hit the market, but the attention has already shifted to the Volkswagen ID.4, and that’s because the ID.4 is mopping up in Europe. We might also note that it the ID.4 is the only fully electric Volkswagen available in the USA. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Leads In Renewable Energy Capacity At 895 GW” • The world’s total installed renewable energy amounted to almost 2,800 GW in 2020. China has an installed renewable energy capacity of 895 GW, the Warsaw Business Journal reports citing data by TradingPlatforms.com. The next on the list is the US with a distant 292 GW. [Budapest Business Journal]

Wind turbines (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “Australia’s First Regional Renewable Hydrogen Plant” • Work has begun on Australia’s first community hydrogen power plant, providing an alternative to the use of diesel in Denham, a town in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region. Horizon Power is to install a 704-kW solar farm, 348-kW hydrogen electrolyzer and a 100-kW fuel cell there. [Media Statements]

¶ “Developers Advance 200-MW Korean Floater” • The developers of the 200-MW Donghae 1 floating offshore wind farm off South Korea, Korea National Oil Corporation, Korea East-West Power and Equinor, said the proposed project off Ulsan passed the preliminary feasibility study conducted by the Korea Development Institute. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Equinor image)

¶ “EDF Renewables Starts Up 344-MW Brazil Wind” • EDF Renewables has begun operations at the 344-MW Folha Larga Norte wind farm complex in Brazil. The Folha Larga Norte wind farm consists of 82 wind turbines and is in the state of Bahia. There were 800 people, mostly local labor, involved in the wind farm’s construction. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Energy Production In USA Fell By More Than 5% In 2020” • In 2020, energy production in the US fell to just below 96 quads, down more than 5% from 2019’s record high, according to EIA’s Monthly Energy Review. In absolute terms, the drop that took place in 2020 marked the largest annual decrease in US energy production on record. [CleanTechnica]

US Energy production (US Energy Information Administration)

¶ “US Interior Department Takes Steps To Revoke Final Rule On Migratory Bird Treaty Act Incidental Take” • The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposed rule to revoke the final regulation of January 7, 2021, which limited the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. That regulation was challenged in court and opposed by treaty partners. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wisk Aero And Blade Urban Air Mobility Join Forces To Make Electric Air Taxis A Reality” • In a further step towards making electric air taxis a reality, eVTOL startup Wisk Aero, which is backed by both Boeing and Kitty Hawk, formed a partnership with Blade Urban Air Mobility to send a fleet of 30 eVTOLs up into the air. [CleanTechnica]

Wisk Aero eVTOL (Image courtesy of Wisk Aero)

¶ “Reports: Tesla Has Already Sold Out Of Vehicles In Q2 2021” • There are reports that Tesla has already sold out of vehicles for the second quarter of 2021. The reports say Tesla informed its employees that production capacity for the second quarter is already sold out even though we still have two months left. So much for that “no demand” myth. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vermont Electric Plans For Carbon Neutrality By 2023, 100% Renewable Energy By 2030” • Vermont Electric Cooperative plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2023 and transition fully to renewable energy sources by 2030, it announced last month. Member enthusiasm and state climate goals were cited as reasons for change. [The Middlebury Campus]

Vermont Electric Cooperative (Courtesy photo)

¶ “Senate Passes Natural Gas Innovation Act To Increase Renewable Energy Resources” • In Minnesota, the Natural Gas Innovation Act passed in the Senate with bipartisan support, 53-14. It establishes a regulatory framework for the state’s natural gas utilities to provide customers with access to renewable energy resources. [Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus]

¶ “Crossing Trails Wind Farm Achieves Commercial Operation” • Commercial operations have commenced at EDP Renewables North America’s 104-MW Crossing Trails Wind Farm. The new wind farm is 20 miles south of Seibert, Colorado, in Kit Carson and Cheyenne counties, in the service area of a Tri-State co-op member. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have an enthusiastically appreciated day.

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May 6 Energy News

May 6, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “What The Clean Energy For America Act Gets Right, And How It Can Improve” • The Clean Energy for America Act is a step in the right direction, but more can be done to improve on the proposal and existing clean energy tax credits. Doing so would ensure that tax credits reach their full potential as an essential part of US emissions reductions. [CleanTechnica]

Desert Research Institute (Manny Becerra, Unsplash)

¶ “Don’t Let Them Fool You: Disinformation Is Not An Accident” • The Oxford Reference defines disinformation as “A form of propaganda involving the dissemination of false information with the deliberate intent to deceive or mislead.” We see interest groups (such as oil companies) and elected officials engaged in it, often in organized campaigns. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Aldi And Other Big Grocers Threaten To Boycott Brazil Over Deforestation In The Amazon” • Some of Europe’s biggest supermarkets and food companies threaten to stop buying agricultural products from Brazil if a bill that would legalize the private occupation of public land that has taken place since 2012 becomes law. [CNN]

Destruction of the Amazon rain forest
(Alzenir Ferreira de Souza, placed into the public domain)

¶ “India’s Tata Power Wins 250-MW Solar Auction At 3.4¢/kWh” • Media reports say a subsidiary of Tata Power Renewable Energy secured the rights to develop 250 MW of solar power projects in Maharashtra. Other developers bid on parts of the tender, but the entire capacity was awarded to Tata Power Renewable Energy on its bid of ₹2.51/kWh (3.8¢/kWh) [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Bags 212-MW Brazil Turbine Order” • Vestas has secured a 212-MW turbine order for a wind project in Brazil. Vestas will supply Omega Energia with turbines for the Assurua 4 project, located in Bahia. The order includes 47 V150-4.2MW wind turbines delivered in 4.5-MW power optimized mode and service for the turbines for 10 years. [reNEWS]

Vestas turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “UK April Plugin Electric Vehicle Share Over 13% Even After Grant Cuts” • The UK saw plugin electric vehicle market share at 13.25% in April, with full electrics at a healthy 6.5% despite recent cuts in the government plugin car grant. The overall auto market is recovering on showroom reopening, but is still down 13% from typical seasonal volume. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New $240 Million VC Fund 2150 Takes Aim At The Carbon Footprint Of Cities” • The energy consumption and carbon emissions of the world’s cities is astronomical. It is estimated that cities are responsible for 70% of all carbon emissions as they consume more than two-thirds of the world’s energy. The VC fund 2150 starts to addresses that. [CleanTechnica]

New cement technology (CarbonCure image)

¶ “Edify Seeks Approval For 10-MW Green Hydrogen Facility That Could Grow To 1 GW” • Edify Energy, one of Australia’s most successful renewable energy developers, has lodged planning applications for a 10-MW hydrogen facility at a “sustainable” industrial district being established just outside of Townsville, Queensland. [Renew Economy]

¶ “UBC To Build $23-Million Solar Farm And Hydrogen Fuel Station” • Construction has begun on a green energy hub at a University of British Columbia’s campus. A 1-MW solar array shading car parking will supply the electricity for high-voltage EV charging, a hydrogen production and refueling station, and battery-based energy storage. [Daily Hive]

Rendering of the hydrogen refueling station (DIALOG/UBC)

¶ “Equinor Lets Sun In On Polish Renewables Plans With 1.6-GW Swoop” • Norwegian energy giant Equinor completed a €91 million ($109.2 million) deal to take over the Polish solar energy developer Wento on the same day it was awarded contracts for difference for a combined 1.44 GW of Baltic Sea wind capacity off the Polish coast. [Upstream Online]

US:

¶ “Uncovering The Deadly Toll Of Air Pollution From Buildings” • Burning gas, wood, and biomass in buildings now has more negative health effects than burning coal in many states, a study says. It is the first to examine the effects of burning different fuels, quantifying impacts in terms of both early deaths and monetary cost in the US. [CleanTechnica]

New York City (Ale Alvarez, Unsplash)

¶ “UGI, Global Common Energy Partner To Develop Renewable Natural Gas” • Cayuga RNG Holdings LLC, owned jointly by UGI Corp and Global Common Energy LLC, announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to develop several dairy farm digester projects to produce renewable natural gas in upstate New York. [North American Oil & Gas Pipelines]

¶ “IHS Markit: Rankings Show The US Is Already World’s Most Attractive Renewables Investment Market” • As the Biden Administration aims to increase federal investment in renewable energy under the American Jobs Plan, the US already ranks as the most attractive market for renewables investment, according to a new ranking by IHS Markit. [World Oil]

Wind turbines (Chelsea, Unsplash)

¶ “California’s Grid Reliability Enhanced with Two Battery Energy Storage Projects” • Two new battery energy storage projects are coming to enhance California’s grid reliability. Southern Power awarded Mitsubishi Power Americas and Powin an order for two battery energy storage system projects totaling 640 MWh. [Environment + Energy Leader]

¶ “Whether To Sell Santee Cooper Splits Utility Reform In State” • The South Carolina House is insisting the state continue to accept offers to sell Santee Cooper, meaning the fate of a bill to overhaul the state-owned utility will go down to the wire at this year’s session. The utility had lost money on failed construction of two nuclear reactors. [The Sumter Item]

Have a gloriously magical day.

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May 5 Energy News

May 5, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Increasing Extreme Heat And Power Failures Put City Residents At Risk” • The increasingly frequent power failures, combined with heatwaves fueled by climate change, pose severe, compounding threats to major American cities, new research suggests. The study was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. [CleanTechnica]

Temperature anomaly (Image courtesy of Berkeley Earth)

¶ “A Shortage Of These Metals Could Make The Climate Crisis Worse” • The world will not be able to tackle the climate crisis unless there is a sharp increase in the supply of certain metals required to produce electric cars, solar panels, wind turbines and other clean energy technologies, according to the International Energy Agency. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Norway Plugin Electric Vehicles Take Over 80% Share In April” • April 2021 saw plugin EVs taking 80.1% market share in Norway, up from 69.6% in April 2020. Overall auto volume was back to seasonal norms, with 13,166 vehicles registered. The recent best selling full electric vehicle is the Audi e-tron, followed closely by the Volkswagen ID.4. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.4 (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Uber And Arrival Partner To Build Electric Car For Ride-Hailing In UK” • According to a story published by Reuters, Arrival, a UK-based EV startup founded by Russian billionaire Denis Sverdlov, will partner with Uber in the UK to develop and manufacture a low cost electric car designed specifically as a ride-hailing vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Completes Hai Long Hat-Trick” • Siemens Gamesa has confirmed a deal to supply turbines to two further phases of the 1044-MW Hai Long offshore wind farm off Taiwan. It is the turbine supplier’s largest offshore agreement in Taiwan to date. The deal now covers the 232-MW Long 2B and 512-MW Long 3 projects. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Vestas Wins 404-MW Mutkalampi Order” • Vestas has secured a 404-MW turbine order for the Mutkalampi project in western Finland. The project will use its EnVentus platform. Vestas will supply six V150-4.2MW turbines running in a 4.3-MW operating mode, in addition to 63 V162-6.0MW turbines from its EnVentus stable. [reNEWS]

¶ “Wind Sets New Record On Bank Holiday” • British wind farms set a new record on the May Bank Holiday of this year by hitting a new high generating output of 17,600 MW at 15.30 pm on May 3. The output, recorded by the National Grid, provided 48.4% of Britain’s electricity and beat an earlier record of 17,500 MW set earlier this year. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Z Tasi, Unsplash)

¶ “Japan Was Wary Of The US Military Taking Control Over The Fukushima Crisis” • Key members of Japan’s Defense Ministry and troops were wary in 2011 that the US military would take control of the response to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi complex, according to the former head of the Joint Staff and others involved. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “US Department Of Energy Launches Initiatives To Accelerate Solar Deployment In Underserved Communities” • The DOE announced a slate of new efforts, including $15.5 million in new funding, to support solar energy deployment in underserved communities and build a diverse, skilled workforce, furthering a greener future for the US. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar systems (Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “US EPA To Cut Hydrofluorocarbon Production And Use” • The EPA proposed a rule to reduce US production and use of HFCs by 85% over the next 15 years, beginning in 2022. HFCs are used widely in refrigeration and air conditioning and are thousands of times more powerful at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California Leads The Way On Conservation And Climate” • The PUBLIC Lands Act would protect nearly 600,000 acres of wilderness and more than 583 miles of wild and scenic rivers. It would expand an existing national monument by over 100,000 acres. The special places protected include Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains. [CleanTechnica]

San Gabriel Mountains (Borishansen, placed in the public domain)

¶ “Renewables Hold Key For Future Of NWA’s Power Grid” • As Northwest Arkansas looks back on the lessons learned from power outages in February, and forward to the future of one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, this is clear: Power companies think the best way to keep our electric grid reliable is through renewables. [KNWA]

¶ “RAI Signs California Solar PPA For 100-MW Project” • San Diego Community Power signed a power purchase agreement with an affiliate of RAI Energy International, based in Silicon Valley. The project located in Imperial County, California is an integrated 100-MW solar PV energy project with up to 150-MW, 600-MWh of battery energy storage. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “Setting The Stage For An EV Future In Washington State” • Washington State legislators passed two leading bills on EVs! Governor Jay Inslee is expected to sign them in the coming days to ensure that people will be able to charge their EV as easily as buying gas and will be able to charge their EVs at home, at work, and on the road. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Avangrid Expects Offshore Vineyard Wind In 2023, Bullish On US Energy Transition” • Avangrid’s 8-GW offshore Vineyard Wind project appears on track to be the first large-scale US offshore wind farm. The developer expects a final investment decision in the second half of 2021 and start generation in 2023, executives said. [S&P Global]

Have a fabulously fruitful day.

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May 4 Energy News

May 4, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Green Hydrogen Project Warns Natural Gas Stakeholders: Get Out!” • The US utility Puget Sound Energy just pulled a double whammy by closing a deal on a new green hydrogen project that provides for energy storage and fuel production, while pushing natural gas out of the power generation market, too. It could be a trendsetting development. [CleanTechnica]

Gas-and-electric utility (Courtesy of Mitsubishi Power)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Are Mostly Bad Policy” • SMRs have many of the same problems of their big counterparts. The people asserting that SMRs are the primary or only answer to energy generation either don’t know what they are talking about, are actively dissembling, or are intentionally delaying climate action. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ford And BMW Bank On Solid-State Batteries” • Lithium-ion batteries have introduced millions of drivers all over the world to the joys of zero emission mobility. But a more streamlined and simpler architecture could trim down weight and size, improve performance, and reduce costs all in one blow. Ford and BMW are pursuing that dream. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium-ion and solid state batteries (BMW image)

¶ “Storing Large Scale Renewables With Basalt Stones” • A Danish consortium is seeking to store electricity from large scale renewable energy plants in the form of thermal energy in big tanks of crushed, pea-sized pieces of basalt. The first 10-MWh demonstrator is planned to be developed in Denmark. It will be powered by a wind facility. [PV Magazine]

¶ “Solar Power + Bees = Extra Benefit For Massachusetts” • The solar power company Navisun has just added a couple of solar projects to a special new “pollinator-friendly” solar initiative it has launched in Massachusetts. Furthermore, the projects qualified as pollinator-friendly facilities in the Massachusetts SMART Program. [CleanTechnica]

Cosmos to attract bees and butterflies (Courtesy of Navisun)

World:

¶ “Indian State Issues 1.3-GW Solar Power Tender” • The Indian state of Maharashtra has issued a tender for the installation of 1.3 GW of solar power projects. The entire capacity will be used for supplying electricity to agricultural consumers, according to media reports. Project developers would be required to set up projects of 25 GW or 50 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sweden’s April Plugin Vehicle Share Above 43% – Volkswagen ID.4 Overall Best Selling Vehicle” • Sweden saw plugin electric vehicle market share reach 43.1% in April 2021, up almost 2× year on year, with full electric vehicles alone at a record 22.2% share. The Swedish auto market volume as a whole was down 31% from pre-COVID norms. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.4 (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Amp Power Australia To Establish Renewable Energy Hub” • Amp Power Australia is building a portfolio of integrated PV, wind, and battery energy storage assets. It is to invest over A$2 billion ($1.54 billion) in the Renewable Energy Hub of South Australia. Construction of three solar projects totaling 1.3 GW is set to begin next year. [Power Technology]

¶ “Dogger Bank Unveils Unmanned HVDC Platform” • The UK’s 3.6-GW Dogger Bank wind farm is to have the first unmanned offshore high voltage direct current offshore substation, with a 1200-MW capacity. It will be the first offshore wind farm in the UK to use HVDC technology to transmit its electricity back to shore, minimizing losses. [reNEWS]

Unmanned substation (Aibel image)

¶ “Electricity Supplier Inks UK Wind Offtake” • UK electricity supplier So Energy has signed power purchase agreements for output from two UK wind farms owned by Ventient Energy. The PPAs are for energy from the A’Chruach wind farm in Argyll and the Sisters wind farm in Northumberland with a combined total capacity of over 50 MW. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Half Of States Now Have At Least 1,000 Non-Residential Electric Vehicle Charging Units” • As of March 2021,25 states have at least 1,000 non-residential EV charging units (public and private). California has the greatest number of non-residential EV chargers by far, with nearly 37,000 units. New York, Florida, and Texas had well over 4,000 each. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (US DOE image)

¶ “Interior Department Approves $550 Million Solar Energy Project In California Desert” • The Bureau of Land Management has given final approval to a new solar energy project on public lands in California. The Crimson Solar Project, at an investment of roughly $550 million, will have 350 MW of solar and 350 MW of batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NextEra Brings Online 130 MW Of Arizona PV Plus Storage” • An affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources has brought online a project with 100 MW solar plus 30 MW of storage project at Tucson International Airport. The Wilmot Energy Center project covers 457 hectares and will supply electricity to Tucson Electric Power under a long-term agreement. [reNEWS]

Wilmot Energy Center (Tucson Electric image)

¶ “New York Advisory Panel Recommendations To Include Gas-Fired Plant Moratorium” • New York state’s Power Generation Advisory Panel will recommend to the state’s Climate Action Council a moratorium on construction of plants powered by fossil fuels, the panel’s chair said. The moratorium would include new and repowered gas facilities. [S&P Global]

¶ “Virginia Thumbs Up For Dominion 500-MW PV Spree” • Dominion Energy has received approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission for nine solar farms totaling almost 500 MW. Six of the nine new solar projects relate to power purchase agreements that were selected following a competitive solicitation process. [reNEWS]

Have a reasonably lazy day. (You deserve it.)

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May 3 Energy News

May 3, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Biden’s Climate Push Promises ‘Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.’ Here’s What That Might Look Like” • In his first address to a joint session of Congress last week, President Joe Biden framed his climate change agenda as a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity. He promised an environmental focus resulting in “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Here are some of those jobs. [CNN]

Turbine Tower No 25 undergoing final testing
(Paul Anderson, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Are Traditional Automakers Still Investing In Gas And Diesel Engines?” • After analysis of legacy car makers, Jim Motovalli at Autoweek reported, “It’s plain that traditional gas and diesel cars – by far the majority of the market now – will have limited to zero shelf life in the near future. A battery-powered Corvette? Why not? We already have a plug-in Mustang.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Paying Australia’s Coal-Fired Power Stations To Stay Open Longer Is Bad For Consumers And The Planet” • In a misguided effort to ensure electricity supplies remain affordable and reliable, Australian governments are considering a move that would effectively pay Australia’s coal-fired power stations to stay open longer. [The Conversation]

Coal-fired power plant (Giorgio Galeotti, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Dangerous Decisions About Advanced Nuclear Reactors Could Lead To New Threats” • The US DOE’s new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program is slipping by without close oversight from the Congress. This is unfortunate because there are some serious questions that should be answered, including ones related to national security. [The National Interest]

World:

¶ “How Calls For Climate Justice Are Shaking The World” • Young activists are breathing new life into the debate over climate justice – the framing of global warming as an ethical issue rather than a purely environmental one. The activists see the environmental transition needed for climate change as necessarily having a societal element. [BBC]

Children (Mohit Tomar, Unsplash)

¶ “Climate Change Could Cause Almost 132 Million People To Be In Extreme Poverty By 2030” • The World Bank estimates that climate change will cause as many as 132 million people to be in extreme poverty by 2030. For those who can’t visualize what this means, the organization defined extreme poverty, as “Living on $1.90 per day.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “France April Plugin Vehicle Registrations Hit 14.8% Share – Up 2× Year On Year” • France, Europe’s second largest auto market, saw 14.8% plugin electric vehicle share in April 2021, up 2× from 7.8% share in April 2020. Overall auto volumes were still subdued, down 25% from pre-COVID seasonal averages, with the weakness continuing from the first quarter. [CleanTechnica]

Peugeot e-208 (Image courtesy of Peugeot)

¶ “New Record Low For Renewable Energy Prices In South Australia” • The Australian Energy Market Operator reported record low daytime wholesale prices for the first three months of the year. Renewables drove power prices into negative territory many time, which bumped South Australia’s average quarterly price down by $10/MWh. [Energy Matters]

¶ “RWE Wins Rights To German Solar Plus Storage Project” • RWE has secured the rights in Germany’s innovation tender to build a solar farm combined with energy storage on the western edge of the Tagebau Inden open-cast mine. The solar system will have a capacity of 14.4 MW connected to a battery storage system storing 9.6 MWh. [reNEWS]

Solar system (RWE image)

¶ “Western Australian Households Installed A Record Amount Of Solar Power In 2020” • Around 300 MW in solar capacity was added to homes of Western Australia in 2020, much more than the project 200 MW the state was expecting. This addition was close to an annual record and lifts the state’s renewable energy total to 1.3 GW. [Energy Matters]

¶ “EDF Starts Construction On Irish PV Trio” • EDF Renewables Ireland is to start building three solar farms in counties Wexford and Kilkenny this month with a combined capacity of 17 MW. The 4-MW Curraghmartin project is at Carrigeen in Kilkenny, and the 5-MW Coolroe at Ballycullane and 8-MW Blusheens at Killinick are both in Wexford. [reNEWS]

Solar array (EDF image)

¶ “ENGIE To Develop 2-GW Renewable Energy Portfolio In Chile” • ENGIE will develop a 2-GW renewable energy portfolio in Chile. It includes an additional 1 GW capacity since the last announcement in 2019. The program is part of the company’s transformation plan to end its coal-fired power generation in the country by 2025. [Mercom India]

US:

¶ “Renewable Natural Gas Emerging As Serious Decarbonized Gas Contender” • When Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods completed a novel renewable natural gas facility in Utah, it was just the first of four projects Align Renewable Natural Gas is building. Other such projects are moving ahead, suggesting that RNG is gaining ground. [POWER Magazine]

RNG facility (Align Renewable Natural Gas image)

¶ “Wyoming Creates $1.2 Million Fund To Protect Coal Industry By Suing Other States” • Most states are boosting renewables, but Wyoming is doing the opposite with a new program aimed at propping up the dwindling coal industry. It threatens to sue if states block exports of Wyoming coal or cause its coal-fired power plants to shut down. [Oregon Live]

¶ “Tucson Electric Turns On Its Biggest Renewable-Energy Plants To Date” • Over the weekend Tucson Electric Power Co planned to turn on its biggest solar generating resource, the 100-MW Wilmot Energy Center, with a 30-MW battery. The utility is also about to switch on the 250-MW Oso Grande Wind Project in New Mexico. [Arizona Daily Star]

Have an uncommonly amusing day.

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May 2 Energy News

May 2, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Why E-Fuels In Cars Make No Economic Or Environmental Sense” • With the review of the EU CO₂ emissions standards for cars and vans scheduled for June 2021, some are advocating CO₂ credits for advanced biofuels and synthetic fuels. Transport & Environment’s analysis shows why this is neither environmentally nor economically credible. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla in Amsterdam (Jannes Glas, Unsplash)

¶ “Time For India To Cancel Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project” • France remains desperate to sell its highly troubled EPR nuclear reactors to India, even though projects at home and outside of France have had severe cost and time overruns and continue to face safety issues. Prime Minister Modi should remember that history repeats itself. [Media India Group]

World:

¶ “When Silence Descended Over Victoria Falls” • In a drought described as the worst in a century, the flow of the Zambezi was reduced to a relative trickle and Victoria Falls ran dry. As one of the region’s biggest attractions for tourists, Victoria Falls is a valuable source of income for Zimbabwe and Zambia, but there has been a big drop in tourist numbers. [BBC]

Victoria Falls before it dried out (Datingjungle, Unsplash)

¶ “Over Two-Thirds Of Citizens Want Their Country’s Climate Target Raised” • Public opinion in the EU strongly supports more ambitious national climate targets, according to poll taken in 12 European countries. The poll for Transport & Environment reveals that 68% of respondents who gave opinions want their country’s climate targets increased. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Siblings And Wuling Mini EV Shine In Hot EV Market – Global EV Sales Report” • Plugin vehicle registrations were up an impressive 173% last month, to some 531,000 units. The Model 3 set a big new all-time monthly record for a single EV model, with close to 76,000 units delivered. The Wuling Mini EV was second, with nearly 40,000 sold. [CleanTechnica]

Wuling Hongguang Mini EV Macaron (Image via Wikipedia)

¶ “Companies Begin Shift To Renewable Energy” • In the Philippines, more institutions and organizations are discovering how much better things can be when they use clean energy. Their increasing number is proof that not only is it the smart choice for the climate and the environment, it is also a wise business investment. [Manila Standard]

¶ “Study Seeks To Reinforce Renewable Energy In South Africa” • South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 envisages the decommissioning of 35 GW of its 42 GW of coal-fired capacity and supplying at least 20 GW of the additional 29 GW needed by 2030 from renewables and natural gas. A study highlights the role of renewables. [Utilities Middle East]

Cooling towers for bungee jumping (Michael Schofield, Unsplash)

¶ “Victoria Makes Pledge To Halve Carbon Emissions By 2030” • Victoria aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and all government operations, including metro trains, schools and hospitals, will be powered by renewable energy by 2025. The government said it will cut greenhouse pollution by 28% to 33% from 2005 levels by 2025. [The Age]

¶ “Vietnam Could Lead Southeast Asia In Renewable Energy Development” • Vietnam will soon be Southeast Asia’s leader in renewable energy development, Germany’s Energiezukunft said in a recent article. It described the country’s energy transition as very impressive. Vietnam is experiencing a solar boom, with 11.6 GW installed last year. [VietnamPlus]

Ninh Bình, Vietnam (Ruslan Bardash, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Evergy To Shutter Kansas Coal Plant, Speed Transition To Renewable Energy” • Evergy, an electric utility in Missouri with about 600,000 customers, said it will retire its coal-fired power plant in Lawrence, Kansas, by the end of 2023. Evergy filed an “integrated resource plan” showing it is adopting renewables with the Missouri Public Service Commission. [KTTN]

¶ “Louisiana To Develop A $700 Million Renewable Diesel Plant” • Louisiana Governor Edwards announced plans for a new $700 million renewable diesel refinery in Caldwell Parish. He, along with CEO Paul Schubert of Strategic Biofuels LLC, announced that the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Louisiana Green Fuels, will develop the plant. [CleanTechnica]

Governor Edwards (Courtesy of Governor John Bel Edwards)

¶ “Solar Power Brings Energy To Quad Cities International Airport” • Solar energy is coming to Quad Cities International Airport, which is in Rock Island County, Illinois, serving cities in Illinois and Iowa. Solar panels will be installed on the terminal roof and on a carport structure over nearly 200 spots in the short-term lot. [OurQuadCities]

¶ “North County’s New Kid On The Energy Block: Three-City Community Choice Program Launches Saturday” • A new community choice energy program encompassing three cities north of San Diego begins enrolling the first of about 58,000 customers on May 1, offering an alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric for electricity. [Del Mar Times]

Have an impressively unhurried day.

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May 1 Energy News

May 1, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Cities Should Be At Heart Of America’s Infrastructure And Economic Recovery” • A report from Bloomberg Philanthropies and RMI found that placing local governments at the center of our recovery gives the US its best chance for our climate and economy. President Biden’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan can accomplish that. [CleanTechnica]

Boston (todd kent, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “RMI Shows The ‘How To’ Of Limiting U.S. Warming To 1.5°C” • RMI is unveiling a series of resources that provide analysis and guidance for how the US can align its economy to limit warming to less than 1.5°C. The first two reports will help policymakers, corporations, and other stakeholders balance near-term actions and longer-term planning. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Challenges Trout Industry In North Carolina” • North Carolina ranks second in trout production nationally, producing 5 million pounds of trout annually. The trout industry supports thousands of jobs in the state. But the trout need cold, clean, oxygen-rich water to survive, and the supply of that water is threatened by climate change. [The Mountaineer]

Trout (Sticker Mule, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “EV Sales Growing, But Need Support To Grow Even Faster, IEA Says” • Global EV sales grew 41% last year, but must accelerate even faster to meet climate and energy goals, the International Energy Agency said. Current trends would have 145 million EVs on the road by 2030, but the IEA points out that is only about 7% of the total fleet. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Volkswagen ID.4 GTX Is Here, ID.5 Coming Soon!” • Volkswagen is moving fast as it races into the electric car future. The ID.4 electric SUV is starting to arrive in dealer showrooms, and the GTX all-wheel drive version is about to follow. Also coming later this year is the ID.5, an ID.4 with a more stylish and aerodynamic roof line. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID.4 GTX (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “European Demand For Renewable Energy Grows 8% Despite COVID” • Despite alarming predictions, the market demand for renewables has continued to grow at a steady pace during 2020. The impact of lower industrial activity as a result of Covid-19 has been limited, and the European thirst for renewable energy capacity seems unstoppable. [T&D World]

¶ “Study To Investigate Powering Platforms With Wave Energy” • Lundin Energy Norway is collaborating with Ocean Harvesting Technologies through an R&D study on how installation of wave energy converters could provide stable and cost-effective electricity to an offshore oil and gas platform. The project will run until February, 2022. [Offshore Mag]

Offshore oil platform (Zachary Theodore, Unsplash)

¶ “GE Haliade-X Wind Turbine Now Typhoon-Proof” • GE Renewable Energy secured Typhoon certification from DNV for Haliade-X offshore wind turbines, certifying that they can operate safely and efficiently under extreme wind conditions. The Haliade-X is the most powerful offshore wind turbine to have this certification, GE said. [Offshore Wind]

¶ “Enel Commissions Sicilian Wind” • Enel Green Power Italia has commissioned the Partanna wind farm on Sicily. The 14.4-MW project, which is in the province of Trapani, comprises six 2.4-MW turbines. It will produce around 40 GWh of electricity per year, while avoiding the annual emissions of about 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Enel image)

US:

¶ “NREL Joins Industry In Leading The Cybersecurity Threat Evaluation For The US Wind Fleet” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and six leading industry organizations joined forces to develop a national Wind Cybersecurity Consortium. The goal of the consortium is to improve the cybersecurity of the US wind fleet. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “After 59 Years Of Operation, New York’s Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Closes” • The Indian Point nuclear power plant permanently stopped generating electricity on April 30, 2021, when it retired its last operating nuclear reactor, Unit 3. Indian Point is located in Buchanan, New York, about 25 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. [CleanTechnica]

New York’s nuclear power plants (EIA image)

¶ “Multnomah County, Oregon Bans ‘Natural’ Gas In New County Buildings” • Multnomah County, which encompasses much of the city of Portland, Oregon, unanimously approved a resolution last week that will make all new county buildings – libraries, courthouses and community centers – free of fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “AOC, Markey Introduce Civilian Climate Corps Bill To Revive New Deal Era Program” • A plan for a Civilian Climate Corps, to employ 1.5 million Americans through conservation projects, was introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) and Senator Ed Markey (MA). The Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps served as a model. [CleanTechnica]

CCC members plant a tree, 1939 (Forest Service, USDA, cropped)

¶ “We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service Aim To Purchase Wisconsin’s Largest Renewable Energy Project” • We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service propose to buy a planned solar and battery storage project in Dane County. The Koshkonong Solar Energy Center would feature 300 MW of solar generation and 165 MW of battery storage. [TMJ4]

¶ “Walmart Underscores Climate Goals Amid Corporate ‘Sustainability’ Push” • The retailer has teamed with energy services company ENGIE North America on wind projects to channel renewable energy to “hundreds of stores, clubs and distribution centers” in Texas, South Dakota, and Oklahoma, according to the companies. [WWD]

Have an admirably beautiful day.

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April 30 Energy News

April 30, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Migration” • Climate change is already displacing millions of people. And if countries fail to make sharp cuts to carbon pollution, it will displace hundreds of millions more. By one estimate, climate disasters could uproot upwards of 1 billion people by 2050, raising important questions about how the world will respond. [CleanTechnica]

“Broke, baby sick, and car trouble!” by Dorothea Lange

Science and Technology:

¶ “Methane Cuts Possible, And Necessary” • Aggressive action to reduce methane pollution could slow global warming by as much as 30%, new research shows. The study, in press at the journal Environmental Research Letters, comes ahead of a UN report that will call for “urgent steps [to] be taken to reduce methane emissions this decade.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Glaciers Are Melting Much Faster Than Expected, Study Finds” • A new study indicates that the speed of glacier melt has “doubled over the past two decades” – far faster than anticipated or previously measured. In the study, published in the journal Nature, the authors make use of multiple NASA satellite datasets dating back to 2000. [CNN]

Glacier and lake (Amar Adestiempo, Unsplash)

¶ “Lightning May Be An Important Source Of Air-Cleaning Chemicals” • Lightning could play an important role in flushing pollutants out of the atmosphere. Observations from a storm-chasing airplane reveal that lightning can forge lots of oxidants, which serve as air-cleansing chemicals, researchers reported online in the journal Science. [Science News]

¶ “Meet Dick, The Weed-Killing Robot With A Tesla Heart” • A UK startup called the Small Robot Company is about to change how farming is done. SRC uses two field units powered by Tesla batteries. One gathers detailed data about a field and transmits that to an AI unit. The AI unit gives the data to the second field unit, which zaps the weeds. [CleanTechnica]

Farm field (PA government image)

World:

¶ “Enel Cleared To Fire Up First Russian Wind Farm” • PJSC Enel Russia has obtained the right to put into commercial operation its first wind farm in Russia, a 90-MW project located at Azov in the Rostov region. The 26-turbine wind farm will start supplying electricity to the country’s wholesale electricity market, with operations beginning on 1 May. [reNEWS]

¶ “Carnegie Working On New Wave Device ” • Carnegie Clean Energy is working on a wave energy product based on its existing Ceto device. The Australian company said in its results for the first quarter of 2021 that the first market for the product would be aquaculture barges and other vessels that require electricity while operating offshore. [reNEWS]

New wave device (Carnegie Clean Energy image)

¶ “Ramboll To Support 10-GW Energy Island” • Engineering firm Ramboll will provide the VindØ consortium with high-level support for planning the world’s first energy island in the North Sea. The Danish company is doing detailed studies of possible activities on the island, which is slated to include windfarms with a combined generating capacity of 10 GW. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “All Green Hydrogen Roads Lead To…Wyoming!” • Wyoming, home of the mighty Powder River coal basin, also happens to be the place a company called Raven SR calls home, and Raven has just hooked up with a company based in New York State called Hyzon Motors to build 100 waste-to-hydrogen hubs in the US and around the world. [CleanTechnica]

Waste-to-hydrogen hub (Raven SR courtesy image)

¶ “President Biden Touts Climate Action And JOBS! In His First Joint Session Speech” • In his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden highlighted his administration’s efforts to grow the US economy and create jobs by addressing the climate crisis. Biden said, “Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. For me, when I think about climate change, I think jobs.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Announces Ultium Charge 360 Partnership With Seven Electric Car Charging Companies” • General Motors and seven electric car charging networks are partnering to make sure the people who buy its EVs will be able to find places to plug them in no matter where they go. An updated GM owners app will show their charging locations. [CleanTechnica]

Charging locations (General Motors image)

¶ “Maryland County Sues Big Oil” • Anne Arundel County, Maryland, home to Maryland capital Annapolis, is suing more than two dozen oil and gas companies for covering up what they knew was the truth of their products’ impact on global warming. The county is seeking to hold them liable for the “costs and consequences” of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dominion Seeks 1 GW In Virginia” • Dominion Energy is seeking proposals for 1 GW of solar and onshore wind projects in Virginia. Dominion issued the call in support of Virginia’s Clean Economy Act and to achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. The projects must be in Virginia and have generating capacities greater than 3 MW. [reNEWS]

Solar site construction (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “California Just Hit 95% Renewable Energy. Will Other States Come Along For The Ride?” • For all the time we spend talking about how to reach 100% clean power, it sometimes seems like a faraway proposition. But on Saturday just before 2:30 pm, one of the world’s largest economies came within a stone’s throw of getting there. [Los Angeles Times]

¶ “Gone Fission: Controversial Nuke Plant Near NYC Shuts Down” • Indian Point is permanently stopping production of nuclear power, capping a decades-long battle over a key source of electricity in the heart of New York City’s suburbs. Opponents have called the nuclear plant a threat to millions living in its densely packed region. [FOX13 Memphis]

Have an indefatigably entertaining day.

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April 29 Energy News

April 29, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Indian Point Is Closing, But Clean Energy Is Here To Stay” • New York will mark a milestone in the state’s energy landscape when the Indian Point nuclear power plant, just north of New York City, permanently closes this week. The plant has a history of operational, safety, and environmental problems. The state is rapidly building renewable energy. [NRDC]

Indian Point nuclear plant (Peretz Partensky, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Indian Point nuclear plant (Peretz Partensky, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Suddenly Startlingly Cheap” • If you want real hope, the best place to look may be a little noted report from the London-based think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative. Solar and windpower can supply the world with 100 times its demand, using less of the surface than fossil fuels do. And the price is startlingly low. [The New Yorker]

¶ “Are Electric Pickup Trucks A Waste Of Valuable Resources?” • Here at CleanTechnica, we favor EVs, but we would be less than honest if we said huge electric pickup trucks with mega-MW of capacity don’t add some harmful emissions to the environment. But any EV is a good thing if it replaces a similar gasoline or diesel powered vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 electric truck (Ford image)

Ford F-150 electric truck (Ford image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Very Simple Hybrid That Rivals The Cleanliness Of EVs Is Possible” • The Koenigsegg Gemera has two rear electric motors (one for each wheel) that run off the car’s battery pack. A very exotic 3-cylinder, twin-turbo, internal combustion engine with no valvetrain powers the front wheels without a transmission. The whole is very clean. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 New #1 In Hot European Market, And Plugin Vehicles Get 16% Market Share!” • The European plugin passenger vehicle market continues to rise, scoring over 227,000 registrations in March (up 169% year-over-year) and putting last month’s plugin vehicle share of the broader passenger vehicle market at 16% share. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Image courtesy of Tesla)

Tesla Model 3 (Image courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “BayWa Oz Solar Farm Hits First Power Milestone” • German developer BayWa RE confirmed its 106-MW Yatpool solar farm in northern Victoria is now connected to the grid. Construction at the site, which has 350,000 solar PV panels, was completed in late 2019 after a 10-month build, but connection to the grid was delayed by complications. [reNEWS]

¶ “RWE To Supply VW With German Solar” • RWE Supply & Trading will source electricity from Germany’s largest subsidy-free solar park from 2022 onwards and supply it to automaker VW under a 10 year power purchase agreement. The solar plant, operated by German asset manager Luxcara in Tramm-Gothen, is to be completed this year. [reNEWS]
Solar array (RWE image)

¶ “GWEC Predicts Millions Of New Wind Jobs By 2026” • New analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council shows that 3.3 million windpower jobs can be created globally over the next five years due to major industry expansion. The figure includes direct jobs in both onshore and offshore wind, and covers the entire value chain of the sector. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Senate Votes To Restore Obama-Era Rule Limiting Methane Leaks” • The Senate voted to restore an Obama-era rule that cracked down on methane emissions from oil and gas industries as the Biden administration looks to combat climate change. The vote was 52-42. Three Republican Senators joined Democrats to approve the resolution. [CNN]

Natural gas well (Antandrus, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Natural gas well (Antandrus, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Attention, Climate-Aware Investors! Help Has Arrived” • A Chicago-based  investment firm, Morningstar, has released a 31-page report that assesses the landscape of climate-aware investment products. Climate-aware funds are those open-end funds and exchange-traded funds that have a branded, climate-related mandate. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In A World Of Ever-Larger Trucks, Alpha’s Wolf Stands Out From The Pack” • Alpha Motor Company announced the Wolf+, an extended cab version of its Wolf EV truck. But what most sets these trucks aside is that they’re similar in size to the small trucks that were sold until the 90s. In a world of ever bigger trucks, they stand out from the pack. [CleanTechnica]

Wolf+ electric truck (Screenshot)

Wolf+ electric truck (Screenshot)

¶ “Auto And Traffic Safety Are The Focus Of 4 New US Senate Bills” • Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Edward Markey (D-MA) reintroduced a set of 4 bills designed to automotive and traffic safety. The bills cover auto manufacturing reporting standards, the speed of auto recalls, distracted driving rules, and seat back integrity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind Power A Smaller Contributor To Texas Electricity Crisis Than Initially Estimated, ERCOT Analysis Shows” • An updated analysis of February’s Texas power crisis by experts at ERCOT shows that lost wind generation played a small part of problems that blacked out much of the state during a lengthy period of severe cold weather. [The Texas Tribune]

Wind turbines in Texas (Leaflet, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Wind turbines in Texas (Leaflet, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “New York State Launches Fifth Large-Scale Renewables Solicitation” • The state of New York has launched its fifth annual solicitation for large-scale renewable projects to accelerate clean energy development and fight climate change. The solicitation, its largest land-based procurement, calls for about 4.5 million MWh per year. [PV Magazine]

¶ “Duke Energy Sees Renewable Energy Growing To 23% By 2030” • Duke Energy says it expects to triple the amount of renewable energy it produces by 2030. That’s among the goals in the Charlotte-based company’s recently released annual sustainability report. It is to increase the share of renewables from 7% today to 23% by 2030. [WFAE]

Have a punctiliously copacetic day.

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April 28 Energy News

April 28, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Climate FUD Campaigns Change Tactics As More Accept Climate Science” • Despite climate denialists, Americans are beginning to accept the connection between human activity and global warming. In his book, The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet, Michael E Mann’s shows fear, uncertainty, and doubt are still being spread. [CleanTechnica]

Hockey stick graph (Image by Michael E. Mann, et al)

¶ “Five Key Takeaways From Tesla’s Q1 Earnings Call” • The first quarter is typically soft for most automakers. Not Tesla. This year, the Silicon Valley automaker displayed its production prowess against all odds. Al Root from Barron’s pointed out five key takeaways that explained the drama and excitement about Tesla in Q1 of 2021. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Rwanda Has Awesome New Incentives For EVs” • Rwanda is introducing a new set of incentives to catalyze the adoption of EVs. Rwanda’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution, outlines the importance of EVs and the enforcement of vehicle emission standards as key mitigation measures on the path to reduce greenhouse gases. [CleanTechnica]

Ampersand motorcycles (Image courtesy of Ampersand)

¶ “Egypt Signs $700 Renewable Energy Contracts In Kom Ombo Complex” • Egypt has signed $700 million worth of contracts for the Kom Ombo Solar Energy Complex, the chairman of the New and Renewable Energy Authority said. It includes 32 solar energy projects with total foreign direct investment exceeding $2 billion. It has helped to create 10,000 jobs. [Arab News]

¶ “Offshore Wind FIDs ‘To More Than Double’” • Offshore wind project final investment decisions, outside mainland China, will grow 57% in the next 18 months, compared to 2019-2020, an analysis from Westwood Global Energy Group shows. The growth represents an additional 20.4 GW of new power capacity, Westwood found. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (J Hunter, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Ford Ion Park: The Company Is Getting Very Serious About Battery R&D” • Ford announced that it is investing big money in a new battery research and development center called Ion Park. Its goal is to improve battery cells, pilot better manufacturing techniques, and work toward vertical integration of batteries for the company’s future EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Charlotte Launches An Electric Bus Pilot Testing Eighteen Electric Buses From Three Companies” • Residents of Charlotte, North Carolina, can breathe easier knowing soon that the transit buses covering the region will be all-electric. The city is trialing eighteen electric buses made by three manufacturers over a period of at least a year. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus in Charlotte (Courtesy of the City of Charlotte)

¶ “New Report Identifies 22 Shovel Ready Regional And Interregional Transmission Projects” • A report identifies 22 shovel ready, high-voltage transmission projects that could create about 1,240,000 jobs and lead to 60,000 MW of new renewable energy capacity, increasing the country’s wind and solar generation by nearly 50%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pilot Program Sheds Light On E-Bike Use Patterns, Energy-Efficiency Benefits” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Colorado Energy Office assessed the travel-behavior of low-income essential workers provided with e-bikes during the pandemic. Analysis showed e-bikes were the dominant travel mode for 30% of trips. [CleanTechnica]

Blix Packa Cargo E-Bike (Image courtesy of Blix)

¶ “Iowa Expected To See A Burst Of Solar Energy Development” • Already a leader in wind energy, Iowa could see an explosion of solar development. About a dozen projects are expected to come online in the months ahead, adding about nine times more solar energy than the state currently produces, according to filings with the Iowa Utilities Board. [Farm Forum]

¶ “Major New Facility In Oregon Could Help Transform The Prospects Of Wave Energy” • In waters off Oregon, a project known as PacWave is attempting to harness nature’s power by testing and analyzing wave energy converters, a technology which could have an important role to play in a transition to renewables. [CNBC]

Pacific Ocean (Glenn Villas, Unsplash)

¶ “DOE Offers Billions In Loans For Transmission Upgrades To Boost Renewable Energy Resources” • The US DOE announced up to $8.25 billion in loan availability from its Loan Programs Office and the Western Area Power Administration for efforts to expand and improve the transmission grid. It has two separate financing streams available. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Entergy Arkansas Seeking Proposals For 300 MW Of Renewable Energy Projects” • Entergy Arkansas will accept proposals to add 300 MW of solar and wind capacity to its generating portfolio by 2026. An agreement to begin developing at least 400 MW of renewable energy capacity by the end of 2022 has already been settled. [KATV]

Wind turbines (Pexels image)

¶ “200-MW Mississippi Solar Project To Support Knoxville, Tennessee’s Renewable Energy Goals” • The Tennessee Valley Authority and the Knoxville Utilities Board have chosen Origis Energy to develop a 200-MW solar farm in Clay County, Mississippi, to support the Knoxville, Tennessee’s renewable energy goals. [Solar Power World]

¶ “New Jersey Regulators Extend Nuclear Subsidies For PSEG/Exelon Reactors” • New Jersey utility regulators voted to extend subsidies, of a type called Zero Emission Certificates, for the state’s three nuclear power reactors for an additional three years. The reactors are at Salem and Hope Creek. The vote was unanimous. [Reuters]

Have an unimaginably enjoyable day.

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April 27 Energy News

April 27, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “After Fukushima, A Fundamental Renewable Energy Shift In Japan Never Happened – Could Global Climate Concerns Bring It Today?” • The power of entrenched utilities kept electricity generated from coal and nuclear energy on the grid, but a sake brewer in Fukushima, hurt by the disaster, is pushing local renewable energy. [Inside Climate News]

Fukushima Prefecture (zoo_monkey, Unsplash)

¶ “Scared? Don’t Be. Divestment Is Actually A Good Financial Move! (Video)” • Bill McKibben outlined recently how new data affirm the solidity of fossil fuel divestmen, and data showing that portfolio divestment will gradually filter out into the world’s markets, “doubtless pushing more investors to divest.” Here is a video from Blackrock’s CEO. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Is Altering Earth’s Axis And Will Cost $27 Trillion A Year, Says Swiss Re” • Conventional wisdom holds that nothing humans can do will affect something so enormous as the Earth. This research proves that conventional wisdom is wrong. Human activity is having an effect on the spin of the Earth, and it will have a huge cost. [CleanTechnica]

Global surface mass changes (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

¶ “Elon Musk Props Up Carbon Removal Research With $100 Million Competition” • Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is putting up $100 million for a new XPrize competition aimed at spurring the creation of new carbon removal technologies and helping to ease the climate crisis. The prize is the largest cash incentive ever, according to XPrize. [CNN]

¶ “Mechanical Stomachs Help Fix Campus Food Waste Issue” • The University of Nebraska is using a “mechanical stomach” to save 95 tons of CO₂ emissions per year by digesting the food and sending it down the drain instead of sending food waste on long (and emissions heavy) journeys to landfills. The biodigester can handle any food waste. [CleanTechnica]

Biodigester (Craig Chandler, University Communication)

¶ “Electric Cars: What Will Happen To All The Dead Batteries?” • “The rate at which we’re growing the industry is absolutely scary,” says Paul Anderson of Birmingham University. He’s concerned about what happens when they run out of road – in particular what happens to the batteries. They will have to be recycled, and that should be automated. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Lithium Systems Acquires 123 Ton eDumper Project” • The eDumper began life as a Komatsu HD605-7 diesel heavy duty dump. eMining AG converted it to “eDumper” spec using li-ion batteries and a kinetic energy recovering system sourced from Lithium Systems. It can carry 65 tons of ore and recovers a lot of energy going back into the mine. [CleanTechnica]

Fully electric eDumper (Lithium Systems image)

¶ “Saudi Arabia Says Focus On Renewable Energy Will Save Them $200 Billion” • Saudi Arabia is looking to expand beyond fossil fuels dependence. It believes it can save over $200 billion over the next decade by replacing liquid fuel used for domestic consumption with gas and renewable energy sources, its finance minister said. [Industry Leaders Magazine]

¶ “RP Global Supports Spanish Partner On 300 MW Of PV” • RP Global is working with Spanish project developer Tartessos to develop a 300-MW solar project in the Castilla-Leon region in Spain. The land for the project has already been secured and environmental impact assessments have not raised any red flags, according to Tartessos. [reNEWS]

Solar array (RP Global image)

¶ “Hamburg Hydrogen Initiative Unveils 100-MW Electrolyser Plan” • Potential offtakers in Hamburg are partnering with Shell and Vattenfall to deliver an ambitious green hydrogen network that includes plans for 100-MW electrolyser. The Hamburg Port Authority and eleven other companies have teamed up on the Hamburg Green Hydrogen Hub. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Clean-Energy Experts Predict Federal Dollars Will Spur Nevada Job Boom” • Experts forecast up to 400,000 new jobs in Nevada as a result of the Biden administration’s climate-change goals and infrastructure plan. President Joe Biden has pledged to cut U.S. carbon emissions in half in by 2030, and that means a lot of workers will be needed. [NewsService.org]

Transmission lines (Laura Musikanski, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Apple Doubles Down On The United States, Promising Another $80 Billion Investment” • Apple is doubling down on its manufacturing presence in the US. The company announced it’s bolstering a previously announced investment by an additional 20%, increasing the amount to $430 billion, and adding another 20,000 new jobs. [CNN]

¶ “Leeward Gets 580 MW Of Indiana Renewables” • Leeward Renewable Energy entered into an agreement with Tri Global Energy to acquire two renewables projects in Indiana totalling 580 MW. The deal comprises the acquisition of a 180-MW wind project and a 400-MW solar project. Both are planned to be operational as early as 2023. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (P Franken, Unsplash)

¶ “Elon Musk: Expect Tesla Model Y To Be Best Selling Car, SUV, Or Truck In World In 2022 Or 2023” • In the Q1 conference call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he expects the Model Y to be the top selling light-duty passenger vehicle (car, truck, or SUV) in the world in 2022 or 2023. He said he expects that it’s more likely than not that it will be in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Federal Program To Help Remote Alaska Communities With Renewable Energy Infrastructure” • The DOE recently announced the awardees of a new program to help remote communities find clean energy solutions. The project will help five Alaska towns explore everything from hybrid fishing vessels to reducing reliance on diesel. [KCAW]

Have an exceptionally untrammeled day.

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April 26 Energy News

April 26, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “CNBC: How Tesla’s Battery Mastermind Is Tackling Electric Vehicles’ Biggest Problem” • JB Straubel, a Tesla co-founder and former CTO, started Redwood Materials, a recycling company, in 2017. CNBC interviewed him, and he talked about the importance of battery recycling. He said 95% to 98% of battery materials are recyclable and “good as new.” [CleanTechnica]

Lithium batteries (みはりん, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Could Ukraine’s Nuclear Industry Face Another Chernobyl?” • With Russia blocking coal production and keeping natural gas prices high, the Ukraine depends on nuclear power. But critics say the Ukraine faces a perennial crisis caused by corruption; safety issues that result from ageing, worn out reactors; and politicised decision-making. [Al Jazeera]

World:

¶ “Greenwashing EU Finance Law Sparks Walkout By Experts” • Environmental and consumer organizations are pulling out of an EU expert group in protest at an European Commission decision to classify destructive forestry practices and highly emitting types of biomass as sustainable investments. The new EC rules ignore the advice of scientists. [CleanTechnica]

European Commission (EmDee, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “China’s Biggest IPO This Year Looks To Be In Renewable Power” • China Three Gorges Renewables Group Co is set for an initial public offering that could be the biggest in the country this year after securing regulatory approval. The unit of China Three Gorges Corp plans to sell up to 8.57 billion shares in Shanghai, it said in a prospectus. [MSN]

¶ “Calls For Isle Of Man To ‘Move Forward On Renewable Energy'” • On the Isle of Man, 1% of the energy currently comes from renewable sources, with around 80% met by the gas turbine power station at Pulrose. The government aims to change that so that 75% of the island’s electricity is generated by renewable sources by 2035. [Manx Radio]

Isle of Man (oliver king, Unsplash)

¶ “Farmers Say They Want Renewables To Boost Income, Cut Costs” • Australian farmers are keen to send the message that the linkages between the agricultural and renewable energy sectors have the potential to be mutually beneficial for both, as the two industries are set to meet to share experiences and opportunities to work together. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Exus To Deliver 85-MW Portugal Wind-PV Hybrid” • Exus Management Partners, a sustainable investor, has been chosen to provide the complete end-to-end delivery of an 85-MW wind-solar hybrid project in northern Portugal. The company said it was chosen without a competitive bidding process because of its unique service package. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Chelsea, Unsplash)

¶ “How Renewables Could Kill Off Fossil Fuel Electricity By 2035: Report” • Solar and wind energy have the potential to meet global electricity demand 100 times over, and the costs of these renewables are falling so rapidly that fossil fuels could be pushed out of electricity generation entirely by 2035, according to a report by a UK think tank. [Forbes]

¶ “MPC Inks Columbia Solar Offtake” • MPC Energy Solutions has signed a power purchase agreement for solar project under development in Columbia. The 9.5-MW Parque Solar Los Girasoles will deliver around 23 GWh of clean energy a year over a 12-year period, starting in the second quarter of 2022, to Grupo Renovatio, an energy trader and supplier. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (G Ortega Castro, Unsplash)

¶ “EDPR Inks 40-MW Spanish Wind Offtake” • EDP Renewables signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with pharmaceutical company Merck for the output from a 40-MW wind farm in Spain. The project is expected to start operations in 2023. EDPR has secured 406 MW for projects in Spain that are expected to be operational from 2021. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Governor Newsom Takes Action To Phase Out Oil Extraction In California (Eventually)” • When Governor Gavin Newsom directed California authorities to initiate action to stop issuing new fracking permits for fracking by January 2024, he also asked the California Air Resources Board find pathways to phase out oil extraction by no later than 2045. [CleanTechnica]

California oil pumps, 2006 (CGP Grey, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “How To Get A Tesla Model 3 For $25,000 (In California)” • Even though the federal tax credit has already been phased out for Tesla, California still offers a good number of perks to significantly lower the price of a Tesla (or any other electric vehicle, for that matter). These include tax credit programs and cash rebates. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Third Of New US Utility-Scale Solar In Next 2 Years Will Be In Texas” • Texas, home to the most wind power capacity in the USA, is expected to add 10 GW of utility-scale solar generating capacity by the end of 2022. According to the EIA, that is a third of the utility-scale solar capacity planned to come online in the country in the next two years. [CleanTechnica]

Utility-scale solar capacity in five states (EIA image)

¶ “US Cities Bought More Renewable Energy Than Ever In 2020” • US local governments bought more renewable energy in 2020 than ever before, according to data from the Local Government Renewables Action Tracker. Nearly 100 cities and counties in 33 states added 3,683 MW of renewable generating capacity in 143 deals, a 23% increase from 2019. [GreenBiz]

¶ “Renewable Energy Industry Commits To Biden’s 50% GHG Reduction Target” • After President Joe Biden set a goal to reduce emissions 50% by 2030, major groups including the American Clean Power Association, American Gas Association, Edison Electric Institute, and Electric Power Research Institute all saw such goals within reach. [Daily Energy Insider]

Have an excitingly easy day.

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April 25 Energy News

April 25, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Battery Rush Is 21st Century’s New Gold Rush – And Tesla’s Big Future Revenue Source?” • I believe we are about to enter into another gold rush of a sorts. Batteries. In a recent article by Yahoo! Finance, the author pointed out that the real money may not lie in Tesla’s cars, but in its battery business. Tesla has a lead of serveral years in that market. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Megapack (Tesla image)

¶ “Biden Wants 50 By 30. We Can Do It!” • The simple math shows that if our emissions were to stay constant from 2018, the carbon budget associated with the 1.5° C goal would be entirely used up by 2030. On the other hand, if we can cut our global emissions in half by 2030 and completely by 2050, we will come close to staying within 1.5° C. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fukushima Dumping Radioactive Wastewater In The Pacific Is An Easy, But Wrong, Solution” • The author understands difficult position Japan is in and why dumping wastewater may seem like its only option. But that doesn’t mean support for their decision. There are too many unknowns about the effects of tritium on the marine ecosystems. [The Johns Hopkins News-Letter]

Pre-disaster Fukushima Daiichi (IAEA Imagebank, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “A Scientist’s Perspective On The Value Of Renewable Natural Gas” • Michigan has largely ignored one innovative opportunity to significantly reduce carbon: renewable natural gas. However, new legislation is set to change that. The new bill calls for a study of statewide feedstock to measure Michigan’s overall potential for renewable natural gas. [Lansing State Journal]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate-Friendly Microbes Chomp Dead Plants Without Releasing Heat-Trapping Methane” • Scientists from the US and China have identified an entirely new group of microbes that live in hot springs, geothermal systems, and hydrothermal sediments around the world. The microbes can break down decaying plants without producing methane. [ScienceDaily]

Hot spring at Yellowstone (Ashley Knedler, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “France Not Doing Enough To Tackle Climate Change, Court Rules” • A Paris court has found France legally responsible for its failure to meet targets intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The lawsuit was launched by four NGOs, including Greenpeace France and Oxfam France, after an online petition gathered 2.3 million signatures. [CNN]

¶ “Inside Alberta’s Wind And Solar Boom” • A renewable energy boom is building in the heart of oil country, as vast new projects harness Alberta’s wind and sun. They draw an increasingly eager and adaptable workforce. The oil industry has always operated in boom or bust cycle, and some people feel disillusioned with jobs in the oil and gas industry. [Global News]

Wind turbines in Alberta (Chuck Szmurlo, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “The Renewable Energy Plan That Netanyahu Announced Doesn’t Really Exist, Experts Say” • Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged that Israel will strive to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050, but environmental activists and experts lambasted him for failing to present a proposal to address the climate crisis. [Haaretz]

¶ “Renewable Electricity Can Sharply Reduce Cascadia Pollution And Ward Off Climate Change” • Research shows that renewable electricity can move Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia off of fossil fuels affordably, and create jobs as it does. Building a cleaner and more equitable economy is backed by a growing body of regional and international studies. [OPB]

British Columbia (Lucas Mitchell, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “NREL Research Illuminates Optimistic Future For Vehicle Electrification” • With falling prices, improved charging, cleaner electricity, and broad support, the future of EVs has never been brighter. National Renewable Energy Laboratory research and recent commitments from governments and industry point to increased EV adoption. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rethinking Hydropower For Energy And Environmental Sustainability” • A California company, Natel Energy, is working on a low-head, low-impact hydropower approach that addresses one of the leading concerns of new deployment – impacts to natural stream flows. To address this challenge, NREL helped Natel rethink hydropower. [CleanTechnica]

Low-impact hydropower (Illustration courtesy of Natel Energy Inc)

¶ “More than 60 Groups Urge Biden Administration To Suspend Mountain Valley Pipeline Permits” • More than 60 conservation and environmental groups are calling on top Biden officials to suspend permits and approvals by the Trump administration for the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline, contending it poses a grave environmental threats. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Samsung Unit Considers Developing $673 Million Solar Plants In Texas” • A Samsung C&T Corp unit is considering solar power plant development worth $673 million in Texas, documents that Reuters has reviewed show. The proposed site is near a Samsung Electronics Co Ltd chip factory, and that division is considering putting $17 billion into another. [Reuters]

Have a spellbindingly gorgeous day.

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April 24 Energy News

April 24, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The 4D Chess Move Elon Musk And Tesla Just Made” • Under Elon Musk’s leadership, Tesla made a 4D chess move that Solving The Money Problem’s Steven Mark Ryan pointed out no one seems to have noticed. Under a new marketing system, Tesla will only sell its solar panels and roofs with batteries. This move could be disruptive to utilities. [CleanTechnica]

Roof, battery, car, and power by Tesla (Image by Tesla)

¶ “Biden’s Remarkable Success On Climate” • By every standard, President Joe Biden’s climate change summit was a remarkable success. The summit represents a tipping point. The world’s largest economies – the US, Canada, the EU, China, Japan, Korea, India, the UK, and Brazil – are finally aligning around the goal of deep decarbonization. [CNN]

¶ “How Quickly Will Electric School Buses Scale? An Interview With Blue Bird” • Trevor Rudderham, Senior Vice President of Product Planning and Electrification from school bus maker Blue Bird is interviewed and talks about electric school buses, all the ways communities can use them, and how fast the industry is headed towards electrification. [CleanTechnica]

Blue Bird electric bus (Image courtesy of Blue Bird)

World:

¶ “Biden Makes The Economic Case For Fighting Climate Change On Second Day Of Virtual Summit” • President Joe Biden thanked the world leaders who made new commitments to curb emissions. He also said, “Today’s final session is not about the threat that climate change poses, it’s about the opportunity that addressing climate change provides.” [CNN]

¶ “Honda Promises To Make Only Emissions-Free Vehicles In The Future” • In his first press conference as CEO of the Japanese automaker, Toshihiro Mibe said the company “will strive” to sell only battery-electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles by 2040 in the three major markets where it primarily sells cars: North America, China and Japan. [CNN]

Honda e (Photo courtesy of Honda)

¶ “11% Plugin Vehicle Share In China!” • Plugin electric vehicles are a hot item in China right now, and they scored a near-record 211,000 registrations last month. That was a 244% jump from the same month last year, and the second best month ever. In fact the plugin vehicle share reached the two-digit mark for the first time, hitting 11%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japan To Tackle Red Tape To Boost Renewable Energy” • Japan plans to cut approval times for wind projects, open up abandoned farmland, boost grid capacity, and do more to reduce red tape that has long impeded efforts to bring more renewable energy into the power mix. With Japan’s new climate goals, these actions will be accelerated. [Japan Today]

Yokohama wind farm (Angaurits, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Geelong Agrees On Need To Fast Track For Renewable Energy” • The Geelong Energy Futures Forum was held in response to proposals to build floating gas terminals in the Geelong area of New South Wales. Attendees at the sold-out forum were unanimous in calling for an urgent transition to renewable energy sources. [Mirage News]

¶ “Bangladesh To Cut Coal Consumption, Shift To Renewable Energy: Minister” • Bangladesh will phase down coal use in the power sector and place greater emphasis on renewable energy as part of the efforts to combat change, said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen. He set the goal during US President Joe Biden’s summit on climate change. [bdnews24.com]

Solar powered irrigation (Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “India Closer To Building ‘World’s Biggest’ N-Plant” • French energy group EDF said it had filed a binding offer to supply the engineering studies and equipment to build six, third-generation EPR reactors in Jaitapur, western India. Once finished, the facility would provide 10 GW of electricity, enough for approximately 70 million households. [The News International]

US:

¶ “The Race To 52%: Little Old NJ Leaps Into US Offshore Wind Industry Lead” • New Jersey could be a centerpiece of President Biden’s plans for reducing carbon emissions up to 52% by 2030, not long from now. Shorter version: jobs, jobs, and more jobs. New Jersey has already been setting up manufacturing centers to support offshore wind development. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind turbine (Photo courtesy of GE Renewables)

¶ “California Governor Orders Fracking To Be Phased Out” • California will stop issuing new hydraulic fracturing permits by January 2024 as part of an effort to reach carbon-neutrality by 2045. Governor Gavin Newsom directed the state’s Department of Conservation’s Geologic Energy Management to implement rules to end issuance of fracking permits. [CNN]

¶ “Biden Fills Out Science Team With Picks For NOAA, DOE, And Diplomacy” • President Biden is rounding out his science team. The White House announced nominees to lead NOAA, the DOE’s Office of Science, and the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Science Affairs. The nominees need Senate confirmation. [Science]

Have an enjoyably astonishing day.

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April 23 Energy News

April 23, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Finally, The Wind Is At Our Back On The Climate Crisis” • History will remember this decade as the climate turning point, the moment we finally woke up to the fact that despite (and because of) shocks like Covid-19, decarbonization, the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions is now inevitable. The only question is how fast we will achieve it. [CNN]

Earth (NASA image, Unsplash)

¶ “The Latest Area Of Competition Between The US And China: Saving The World” • With Washington rejoining global efforts against climate change under President Joe Biden, the US and China now have a new area of competition – leading the world in staving off environmental catastrophe. It is a competition that allows room for agreement. [CNN]

World:

¶ “OX2 Makes 170-MW Swedish Wind Swoop” • OX2, a Swedish renewables developer, is to acquire the rights to a wind farm in Sweden, with a capacity of up to 170 MW, from Stora Enso for an undisclosed price. The Halsingeskogen wind farm is expected to produce about 380 GWh annually, covering the average yearly needs of about 72,000 households. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine in Sweden (OX2 image)

¶ “Japan Raises Emissions Cut Target To 46% By 2030” • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Japan will strive by 2030 to cut its emissions by 46% from 2013 levels, up from its earlier goal of 26%. He promised to reduce Japan’s reliance on coal-fired energy by promoting conservation and maximizing renewables, while promoting nuclear energy. [CTV News]

¶ “Orbital Tidal Turbine Sets Sail For EMEC” • Orbital Marine Power, based in Scotland, shipped a 2-MW tidal turbine from the Port of Dundee to the Orkney Islands for installation. Osprey Heavy Lift oversaw the transfer of the 680-tonne tidal turbine from the Forth Ports quayside facility in Dundee into the River Tay using a submersible barge. [reNEWS]

Turbine on its submersible barge (Orbital Tidal Turbine image)

¶ “Coal India Forms Subsidiaries For Solar Manufacturing And Renewable Energy Projects” • Coal India Limited announced forming two subsidiaries, one for solar PV manufacturing and one for renewable energy projects. CIL had earlier announced it would invest ₹56.50 billion ($763 million) on solar projects to power mining operations. [Mercom India]

¶ “South Korean Students Shave Heads To Protest Against Japan’s Fukushima Water Release Plan” • Over 30 South Korean college students shaved their heads in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul to protest against plan to release over a million tonnes of treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. [Republic World]

South Korean students (Abdulsatar Bochnak via Twitter)

US:

¶ “Biden Announces US Will Aim To Cut Carbon Emissions By As Much As 52% By 2030 At Virtual Climate Summit” • President Joe Biden kicked off a virtual climate summit attended by 40 other world leaders by announcing an ambitious cut in emissions of greenhouse gases. He committed the US to reducing its GHG emissions by 50%-52% by 2030. [CNN]

¶ “Whitmer Celebrates Earth Day, Announces State Offices Will Be 100% Renewable Energy By 2025” • On Earth Day Thursday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that all state-owned facilities would use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The state says this goal is made possible through partnerships with three major utilities. [WLUC]

Governor Gretchen Whitmer (State of Michigan)

¶ “New York City Is Suing Big Oil For Allegedly Misleading Consumers About Climate Change” • The City of New York filed a lawsuit in state court against Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, and the American Petroleum Institute for allegedly misleading New York consumers about the role their products play in climate change and for “greenwashing” their practices. [CNN]

¶ “Cadillac Lyriq Will Be Available In Early 2022 Starting At $59,990” • This September, customers will be able to place an order for the new Cadillac Lyriq, the company’s first all electric car. Built in Spring Hill, Tennessee, Lyriq deliveries will begin in the first half of 2022. The Lyriq will start at $59,990, including the destination charge. [CleanTechnica]

Cadillac Lyriq (Image courtesy of Cadillac)

¶ “Tesla’s 62-Stall Supercharger Project In Santa Monica Is Given The Green Light” • The Santa Monica City Council has given Tesla’s 62-stall Supercharger project the green light to go ahead with construction, The Santa Monica Daily Press reports. Members of the city council unanimously amended an ordinance to give Tesla the green light on construction. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Disney Marks Earth Day By Unveiling Renewable Energy Plans For Theme Parks” • The Walt Disney Company marked Earth Day by unveiling a new list of renewable energy efforts aimed to reduce carbon footprint at its theme parks and resorts. Among other things, two large solar plants will be built at Walt Disney World in Florida. [HuffPost]

Mickey Mouse solar array in Florida (Disney image)

¶ “Local Municipalities Teaming Up To Get Cheapest Renewable Energy For Residents” • In New York, the town and village of Pittsford, the town of Irondequoit, and the city of Rochester are teaming up to buy renewable energy for their residents. The Community Choice Aggregation program is a way for residents to reduce costs and get clean energy. [WROC-TV]

¶ “On Earth Day 2021, Governor Cuomo Announces More Than 20 Large-Scale Renewable Energy Infrastructure Projects Will be Under Construction Across NYS This Year” • New York Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced that over 20 large-scale renewable energy infrastructure projects will be under construction across the state this year. [The New York State Senate]

Have a downright upbeat day.

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April 22 Energy News

April 22, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Stanford-Designed Tool That Could Guide Floodwater Management And Combat Ongoing Drought” • Floodwaters are not what most people consider a blessing. But they could help remedy California’s increasingly parched groundwater systems, according to a new Stanford-led study. The study was published in Science Advances. [Stanford News]

Flooded vineyard (Image courtesy of Terranova Ranch Inc)

World:

¶ “Companies Are Crucial To Solving The Climate Crisis. 75% Are Falling Short” • An analysis by sustainable finance firm Arabesque assigned scores to companies in 14 of the world’s largest stock indexes based on publicly reported emissions data between 2015 and 2019. It found that less than 25% are doing their part to address the climate crisis. [CNN]

¶ “Cutting Air Pollution Can Prevent Future Deaths Like Death Of Schoolgirl Ella” • Deaths like that of UK schoolgirl Ella Adoo Kissi Debrah can be prevented, says the coroner’s report. It recommends that legally binding targets match WHO guidelines for air pollution. The government has repeatedly opposed these, Transport & Environment says. [CleanTechnica]

London (Lucas Davies, Unsplash)

¶ “Biden Summit To Push For Immediate Action” • The US will attempt to regain leadership on climate change as President Joe Biden hosts world 40 leaders at a virtual summit in the White House. The US is expected to unveil an updated carbon pledge to have its emissions reduced nearly 50% by 2030. Many countries are being urged to show greater ambition. [BBC]

¶ “Volvo Snags Big Electric Truck Order” • QCD, a company that delivers food to various food service customers, put in an order last week for 14 of Volvo’s VNR electric trucks. The vehicles will be used on last-mile routes in southern California. The first of the Volvo’s VNR electric trucks has already been delivered. The rest will be delivered in the fall. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo electric truck (Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

¶ “Northern Territory Government To Transition Remote Indigenous Communities To Renewable Power By 2030” • About 70% of all indigenous people living in remote communities in Australia’s Northern Territory are set to gain access to renewable energy, following an infrastructure plan announced by the NT Government. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Gresham House Acquires 30-MW Scottish Battery” • Gresham House Energy Storage Fund has completed its acquisition of a 30-MW battery project in Scotland, its first operational facility in the country. The Byers Brae energy storage installation in West Lothian is a battery-only site with 30-MW capacities for both export and import. [reNEWS]

Energy storage battery (Gresham House image)

¶ “Ikea To Invest £3.4 Billion In Renewable Energy By 2030” • Ikea plans to invest more in renewable energy by spending an extra €4 billion (£3.4 billion, $4.8 billion) by the end of this decade to build wind and solar farms, while fitting its stores with electric vehicle charge points. Ikea has already spent €2.5 billion installing solar panels at its stores. [The Guardian]

¶ “Taiwan Seeks To Join UN Mission Monitoring Japan Wastewater Plan” • Taiwan will seek to join an international mission to be deployed by the UN’s nuclear watchdog to monitor Japan’s plans to dump treated radioactive water into the ocean, according to the Minister of the Atomic Energy Council, Hsieh Shou-shing. [Focus Taiwan]

Fukushima water storage (IAEA Imagebank, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Woodlands Fire Chief: A Lot Of Misinformation Out There About Tesla Crash And Fire” • There was a very unfortunate Tesla crash this week in which two men died. While there are still mysteries about what happened, the internet has been flooded by misinformation. The Fire Chief in Woodlands, Texas, exposed some of that as false. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Clearly Visible As NOAA Prepares To Release New ‘Normals'” • As weather experts and climatologists discussed the new climate normals being released next month, they came to a conclusion. “Climate change is clearly seen in these new normals,” said Mike Palecki, a project manager for the NOAA 1991-2020 climate normals. [CNN]

Maps of showing climate change (NOAA image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Secretary Granholm Announces Winners Of Solar Decathlon Design And Build Challenges” • Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm joined college students from around the world to announce the winners of the Solar Decathlon, a DOE collegiate competition for design and construction of low-carbon buildings powered by renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ten States Leading The Charge On Renewable Energy” • The EPA says that renewable energy can increase grid reliability, improve air quality, and create more jobs. In Addition, renewable energy can lower fuel and electricity costs, reducing the total cost of homeownership. Here are the ten states that are in the lead on renewable energy. [Money Talks News]

North Carolina (Darrell Moore, Unsplash)

¶ “First Fully Electric Tugboat With Autonomous Technology Is Here” • Crowley Engineering Services has completed the design of the first ever electric US tugboat, and it even has autonomous technology. The new design is powered by the expertise of new subsidiary Jensen Maritime. It has a large electric battery system to operate in a fully electric mode. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Baltimore County Executive Makes Pledge To Use 100% Renewable Energy By 2026” • Baltimore County is making a pledge to move toward a more green Earth. Executive Johnny Olszewski signed an executive order setting a goal to generate 100% of the county’s electric demand with renewable energy sources. [CBS Baltimore]

Have a way cool day.
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April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Why Renewable Electricity Powers Decarbonization – And Pays Off” • For decades, big power utilities piled on with claims that fluctuating solar and wind power could black out the grid. Back in 2005, even the US DOE said renewables were “too rare, too diffuse, too distant, too uncertain, and too ill-timed.” Now we know that isn’t true. [Jefferson Public Radio]

Wind turbines (©Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Thinking Inside The Blade: NREL’s 3D-Printed Water Power Prototypes” • There may be benefits from applying 3-D printing techniques to create complex blade mold sections that can be bonded. The process shows some promise for overcoming transportation barriers by allowing on-site manufacture of large wind turbine blades. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Blue Nature Alliance Aims To Restore 7 Million Square Miles Of Ocean In Five Years” • The ocean covers more than 70% of our planet, a total of 139 million square miles. The newly formed Blue Nature Alliance aims to protect 5% of it in the next five years. A 5% area might sound small, but the area is larger than the entire continent of South America. [CNN]

Navatu Reef, Fiji (Ron Vave, Conservation International).

¶ “Dalai Lama And One Hundred Other Nobel Prize Laureates Call For Fossil Fuels To Be Phased Out” • As the most powerful leaders of the world prepare to come together for the President Joe Biden’s virtual climate summit, the Dalai Lama and one hundred other Nobel Prize winners have a clear message for them: Keep fossil fuels in the ground. [CNN]

¶ “UK Commits To 78% Emissions Cut By 2035” • The UK Government is planning to set the world’s most ambitious climate change target into law to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels, it announced. The Carbon Budget will even incorporate the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions. [reNEWS]

Person with intentionally messy hair (UK government image)

¶ “Stanwell Flags Coal Exit As It Pivots To Renewables And Storage” • Queensland state-owned energy giant Stanwell Corporation says the company’s future must be in renewables and storage rather than coal, in a delicately-worded statement that rang an early death knell for the company’s two coal-fired power plants. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Wind Farms To Generate Power And Jobs For The Southern Downs” • Two windfarms and up to 400 jobs in the Southern Downs of Queensland are closer to reality with State Assessment and Referral Agency approval. Acciona’s MacIntyre Wind Farm, with up to 1026 MW capacity, was approved. Also approved was the 103-MW Karara Wind Farm. [Media Statements]

Ravenshoe Wind Farm (www.gondwananet.com, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Indonesia Banking On Solar Power To Boost Renewable Energy Generation” • Indonesia is planning to increase the share of renewable energy in its energy mix. To accomplish this it will employ several strategies, including halting imports of fossil fuels and liquified petroleum gas by 2030. In particular, it will expedite solar power projects. [ANTARA News]

¶ “Dumping Reactor Water ‘Extremely Irresponsible'” • Chinese experts have condemned Japan’s unilateral decision to discharge contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean, calling it “extremely irresponsible.” Dumping the contaminated water from the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is not Japan’s only option, one said. [China Daily]

Water tanks at Fukushima, 2012 (Gill Tudor, IAEA, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Coal Miners Join Climate Activists To Back Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan” • Coal country is in free fall and is pleading for help from Washington. That’s why the largest union in one of the dirtiest industries is broadly backing President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion green infrastructure package – adding their efforts to the support from climate activists. [CNN]

¶ “Remote Communities Partner With DOE Experts And National Labs To Adopt Clean Energy Solutions That Reduce Energy Costs And Power Disruptions” • The US DOE announced it will provide federal assistance to eleven US remote and island communities to help with their clean energy options and economic outlook. [CleanTechnica]

Not remote enough to need help (Chris Boese, Unsplash)

¶ “Pegatron Will Build A Tesla Parts Plant In Texas” • Pegatron, a company based out of Taiwan, will build a plant in El Paso, Texas, to provide components for Tesla, Reuters reports. Company officials said that the details of the plant investments are still in planning stages. Pegatron is a key supplier for Apple, but it sees EVs as a major growth area. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hershey Signs Two US Solar PPAs” • The Hershey Company has signed two PPAs to develop solar projects as it moves its operations toward the use of clean and renewable energy. One PPA is for a 20-MW project in Camden, North Carolina. The other is for a 50-MW project currently under construction in Denton County, Texas. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Association image)

¶ “Three Texas Bills Under Fire By Investors” • The Lone Star State leads the nation in wind energy, and renewable energy investment continues to grow. However three Texas bills are under fire by renewable energy investors for the effect they will have on the industry. One state senator said they aim to penalize renewables for no reason. [KVII]

¶ “NYC Mayor Announces Step Forward Toward Purchase Of Large-Scale Renewable Electricity” • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City intends to partner with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to pursue a joint large-scale purchase of electricity generated by renewable resources. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a categorically superior day.

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April 20 Energy News

April 20, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The End Of The World’s Capital Of Brown Coal” • Germany is slowly shuttering its prolific lignite mines, which produce the least efficient type of coal. The ghostly towns set to be destroyed to make way for mines may hold a lesson for how to move on. The effects on the people of closing mines, with jobs lost, also has to be considered. [BBC]

German lignite mine (C M, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “2020: Climate Indicators Reveal Worsening Climate” • A report from the World Meteorological Organization makes it clear that globally, 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record, despite a cooling La Niña event. The global average temperature was about 1.2° Celsius above the pre-industrial (1850-1900) level. [Met Office]

World:

¶ “Green Hydrogen Pokes At LNG, Hits A Nerve” • Last week, the global energy firm Uniper announced that it has scrapped plans for a massive liquefied natural gas terminal at Wilhelmshaven in Germany. Instead, the company will build an equally massive but less planet-killing green hydrogen hub at the site, with a green ammonia twist to boot. [CleanTechnica]

LNG ship (photo courtesy of Uniper)

¶ “Carbon ‘Surge’ Expected In Post-Covid Energy Boom” • The International Energy Agency predicts a major increase in CO₂ emissions from energy this year, as world economies rebound. The IEA says total energy emissions for 2021 will still be slightly lower than in 2019, and increased use of coal in Asia will push global demand up by 4.5%. [BBC]

¶ “Toyota Introduces Beyond Zero Electric SUV At Shanghai Auto Show” • At the Shanghai Auto Show this week, Toyota introduced its new bZ brand, which stands for Beyond Zero. The first offering will be the bZ4X, an electric SUV about the size of the hot selling RAV4. It appeared in concept form, and the specs are not known yet. [CleanTechnica]

Toyota Beyond Zero Electric SUV (Image courtesy of Toyota)

¶ “Amazon Becomes Europe’s Largest Corporate Buyer Of Renewable Energy” • Amazon announced nine new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects in the US, Canada, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Amazon now has 206 renewable energy projects around the world. They have a total of 8.5 GW of electricity generating capacity. [Irish Tech News]

¶ “Luxcara Inks Swedish Wind Offtake With Amazon” • Wind plant operator Luxcara has signed a power purchase agreement with Amazon for what it says is a significant share of the power to be produced by a 374-MW wind farm in Sweden. It will begin providing power to Amazon in 2023. Amazon’s goal is to be 100% powered by renewable energy in 2025. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (W Hasselmann, Unsplash)

¶ “WA Green Hydrogen Project Grows From 1 GW To 8 GW, Following Commitment From French Powerhouse” • Province Resources has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with French giant Total Eren. Province now saying it plans to install 8 GW of renewable energy capacity. Earlier this year, it announced a project goal of 1 GW. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Capstone Soaks Up Alberta Sun” • Capstone Infrastructure Corporation and Obton have started commercial operations at the 132-MW Claresholm solar farm in southern Alberta. In addition to its electricity, Claresholm will provide on-going employment along with long-term property tax revenue to the local economy. [reNEWS]

Claresholm solar array (Capstone image)

¶ “Fourth Nuclear Power Plant ‘Outdated Technology’: Deputy Economics Minister” • The mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City is “outdated technology,” the Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs said. He said, “We cannot solve the problems we will face 10 years from now with technology that is already two decades old.” [Taipei Times]

US:

¶ “Blinken Warns US Is Falling Behind China In Race To Capitalize On Climate Opportunities” • US Secretary of State Tony Blinken said that “coming up short” in efforts to address climate change “will have major repercussions” for US national security and its economy, warning that the country is falling behind China on renewable energy. [CNN]

Wind turbines (Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

¶ “CNN To Host Climate Crisis Town Hall With Officials Of The Biden Administration ” • Senior Biden administration officials will answer questions on how President Joe Biden plans to remake US climate policy in a globally broadcast CNN town hall, the network announced. “CNN Town Hall: The Climate Crisis” will air Friday at 10 p.m. ET. [CNN]

¶ “Grim Colorado River Shows Future Of Water Restrictions Is Here” • The West is dry and getting drier. The US government predicts that Lake Mead’s water level will fall below 1,075 feet (328 meters) by June, the level that triggers official government water shortage procedures for the seven states that get their water from the Colorado River. [Earther | Gizmodo]

Lake Mead (Ricardo Frantz, Unsplash)

¶ “Miners’ Union Backs Shift From Coal In Exchange For Jobs” • The nation’s largest coal miners’ union said it would accept President Joe Biden’s plan to move away from coal and other fossil fuels in exchange for a “true energy transition” that includes thousands of jobs in renewable energy and spending on technology to make coal cleaner. [WITF]

¶ “US Developer Starts 79-MW Michigan Solar Build” • DE Shaw Renewable Investments has reached financial close and started building the 79-MW Assembly Solar 3 project in Michigan. It is part of the Assembly Solar project, which will total 239 MW once completed. Financing for the construction and operation was provided by a syndicate of lenders. [reNEWS]

Have a suitably enchanting day.

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April 19 Energy News

April 19, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Secretary Granholm Shows The Joe Biden Administration Is Focused On Electric Vehicle Matters That Matter” • Secretary Jennifer Granholm gets it. She went on a great rant about this in a recent MSNBC interview. She also touched on other cleantech and energy matters that are of critical importance. You can watch her in a video. [CleanTechnica]

Secretary Granholm (MSNBC via YouTube screenshot)

¶ “Man Who Predicted The Worst Nuclear Disaster Since Chernobyl Sees Another Coming” • “There is a very strong possibility that there will be another nuclear disaster in Japan, and the company running the biggest nuclear plant here cannot be trusted,” said a nuclear engineer who predicted Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster. [Daily Beast]

¶ “How BlackRock And Vanguard Can Advance The Net-Zero Emissions Movement” • The movement towards net-zero GHG emissions, is gaining traction, especially in finance. But to avoid the worst impacts of global warming, every organization in the field must have robust plans for shifting investment portfolios to net-zero by 2050 or sooner. [CleanTechnica]

Wall Street (Photo by Josh jfisher on Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Oil Company Ads Should Carry A Climate Health Warning, Say Activists” • Environmental law non-profit ClientEarth has published research accusing some of the world’s biggest oil firms of misrepresenting their role in the climate crisis and the speed at which they are moving to clean energy. It wants oil company ads to have “tobacco-style health warnings.” [CNN]

¶ “Zero-Emission Trucks: Industry And Environmentalists Call For Binding Targets For Infrastructure” • In the EU, truck makers and environmentalists have joined forces, pushing to deploy of 11,000 charging points for electric trucks by 2025 and 42,000 by 2030. Two of them made a call to the European Commission in a joint letter last week. [CleanTechnica]

Electric truck (Image courtesy of Volta)

¶ “Coal Financing Costs Surge As Investors Opt For Renewable Energy” • Coal financing costs have surged over the last decade as investors demand returns four times as high as the payoff required from renewable energy projects to justify the risk of investing in fossil fuels, as the world moves towards cleaner energy sources. [The Guardian]

¶ “UK Developer Reveals 33-MW Solar Plans” • UK company Lightrock Power has revealed plans for a 33-MW solar farm in England. The proposed Whinfield development could provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of 9900 homes. Plans include installing bird and bat boxes planting seeds for local flora to attract bees and other insects. [reNEWS

Solar array (Gabriel, Unsplash)

¶ “Uzbekistan Signs Wind Energy Alliance With Siemens” • The Uzbekistan Ministry of Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Siemens Energy to work together on power generation, including in wind. The MOU envisions cooperation going beyond new generating facilities to include hydrogen energy and training of personnel. [reNEWS]

¶ “CIP Closes €7 Billion Renewables Fund” • Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has reached final close on its global greenfield renewables energy fund Copenhagen Infrastructure IV, securing €7 billion in investments. CIP said the fund was oversubscribed, with the target size of €5.5 billion achieved already in December 2020. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Cameron Venti, Unsplash)

¶ “NSW Coal Region Councils Join Forces For Huge Renewable Energy Mandate” • A group of local councils from the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales has joined forces to procure up to 200 GWh a year of renewable electricity supply for their combined operations. The region has strong ties to the coal industry. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Experts Predict Wind Costs Will Tumble” • Technology and commercial advancements are expected to continue to drive down the cost of wind energy, a survey indicated. The study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of 140 global wind power experts found cost reductions of 17%-35% by 2035 and 37%-49% by 2050 are on the cards. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Eon image)

¶ “LG Energy Solution Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity” • South Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution has announced it has joined the RE100. RE100 is an international campaign that was started by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP back in 2014 to encourage big companies to commit to 100% renewables-based electricity. [SolarQuotes]

US:

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E Tech And Cargo Space (Versus Tesla Model Y)” • With the coming of Ford Mustang Day, Zach Shahan at CleanTechnica finally got through video editing of some of the Ford Mustang Mach-E footage he took in February near his home in Florida. It shows off the car, and it compares it to the Tesla Model Y. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Zach Shahan,
CleanTechnica, via YouTube screenshot)

¶ “Consensus Appears To Be Taking Root In Corporate America: What’s Good For The Environment Can Be Good For Business.” • Ahead of Earth Day and Biden’s climate summit, corporations have increased sustainability drives and made trillion-dollar climate pledges. CNN Business has the news from Corporate America’s environmental enlightenment. [CNN]

¶ “State Land Commissioner Says The Office Is Nearing Her Goal For Renewable Energy Development” • When Stephanie Garcia Richard took the office of State Land Commissioner in New Mexico after the 2018 elections, her goal was to tripple renewable energy development on state lands. Two years later, the goal is nearly reached. [The NM Political Report]

Have a profoundly blithesome day.

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April 18 Energy News

April 18, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Rolling Back The Rollbacks: Putting Cars And Trucks Back On Track To Meet Climate Goals” • As the White House gets ready to release new climate targets, the Union Of Concerned Scientists calls for cutting GHG emissions at least a 50% by 2030, compared to 2005. Passenger cars and trucks, the biggest emissions sources, are critical to this effort. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian in New York City (Image courtesy of Rivian)

¶ “The Danger Of Japan Dumping Fukushima Wastewater Into The Ocean” • The Japanese government intends to release over 1.2 million tons of radioactive wastewater, and with it dangerous radionuclides, from Fukushima Daiichi into the Pacific Ocean. The Biden administration must urge Japan to abandon this unnecessary and dangerous plan. [The Hill]

¶ “Scotland Must Not Let Chance To Create World-Leading Renewable Energy Industry Slip Through Its Fingers” • Scotland has a long way to go to create a truly world-leading renewable energy industry. Two Scottish unions, jointly welcoming jobs building wind turbine jackets, called for an industrial plan for Scotland’s future. [The Scotsman]

Windfarm (Alessandro Stigliani, Unsplash)

¶ “For The Health Of Americans, A Dollar of Carbon Emissions Prevented Is Worth A Ton of Cure” • The Biden administration made an announcement in February that could affect the health of Americans for generations. It had nothing directly to do with COVID-19 or even health care reform. It is about the societal costs of fossil fuels. [Scientific American]

World:

¶ “US And China Agree To Cooperate On Climate Change After Talks In Shanghai” • The US and China have agreed to cooperate on “addressing the climate crisis” after two days of high-profile meetings in Shanghai, despite rising tensions between them. The two countries said the climate crisis “must be addressed with seriousness and urgency.” [CNN]

Special Envoys John Kerry and Xie Zhenhua
(Ministry of Ecology and Environment)

¶ “You Can Now Buy The New BYD E6 With Blade Battery In Zimbabwe” • BYD Zimbabwe recently launched the T3 electric van in the Zimbabwean market. This made it the first company to introduce brand new electric vehicles in Zimbabwe. Early adopters and EV enthusiasts had been importing some used EVs directly from the UK and Japan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lisbon Orders Ten Electric Ferries” • Electric ferries have been available for years. You don’t often see large orders for them, but Lisbon is shaking things up. It is getting ten electric ferries, with the internal muscle and brains coming from ABB. Public ferry company Transtejo will put the electric ferries into service between 2022 and 2024. [CleanTechnica]

Lisbon electric ferry (Image by Astilleros Gondan, ABB)

¶ “Renewable Energy Schemes For Homes Launched” • Malta’s Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development launched three schemes to encourage families to invest in renewable energy and to reduce their energy bills. The schemes allow consumers to switch from the conventional water heaters to efficient, clean heaters. [MaltaToday]

US:

¶ “California Approves $44 Million For San Diego EV Charging” • San Diego Gas & Electric will deploy roughly 2,000 new electric vehicle charging stations at apartment and workplaces across the San Diego region, where cars are parked for long periods. Funds are from a $44 million program approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. [CleanTechnica]

Solar-powered rural EV charging (Courtesy of Electrify America)

¶ “Time To Repeal New England’s Anti-Consumer Dirty Energy Rule” • For years, ISO New England, which operates the New England grid, has resisted reforms of Minimum Offer Price Rule, except to continue prioritizing fossil fuel generator profits over consumers. Now, the new FERC chairman is prioritizing reform or replacement of the rule. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In Response To Outages, Texas Politicians Aim To Penalize Wind And Solar” • Though gas plants played a larger role in the February power crisis, Texas lawmakers are pushing bills to make wind and solar plant owners pay for replacement power that would be ready if their plants underperform, along with grid balancing services. [Inside Climate News]

Roscoe wind farm (Matthew T Rader, Unsplash)

¶ “The EPA Knows Tanks Holding Heavy Fuels Emit Harmful Chemicals. Why Are Americans Still At Risk?” • In an 18-month investigation, Inside Climate News found that emissions from heated tanks of asphalt and No 6 fuel oil pose a risk to the health of millions of Americans. Federal and state regulators have failed to address the risks adequately. [Inside Climate News]

¶ “North Carolina Panel Signs Off On Duke Energy Orders On Rates, Coal Ash” • The North Carolina Utilities Commission has signed off on orders involving two Duke Energy electric utility subsidiaries, over their 2019 rate increase requests and a plan for how the company will pay to get rid of coal ash stored in North Carolina. [Greensboro News and Record]

Have an advantageously effective day.

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April 17 Energy News

April 17, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Biden Offshore Wind Plan: Who Supports Ambition For Offshore Wind?” • The Biden administration’s bold, broad plan for offshore wind has attracted a lot of attention – and boatloads of support. Offshore wind is something that wind companies, labor unions, environmental and community groups, academics, and others agree on. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Gritte, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Satellites Planned To Monitor Methane Super-Emitters” • Under the umbrella of the newly formed group Carbon Mapper, two satellites are on track to launch in 2023. The satellites will target pollution, including methane emissions from oil and gas and agriculture operations that account for disproportionate amounts of pollution. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Brazil ‘Needs $10 Billion To Reach Zero Emissions’ Says Minister” • Ahead of US President Joe Biden’s climate summit, Brazil’s environment minister says the country needs $10 billion (£7.2 billion) a year in foreign aid to reach zero emissions by 2050. The move would mean that Brazil could achieve the figure ten years earlier than now planned. [BBC]

Rainforest (Mark, Unsplash)

¶ “Japan Is To Boost Its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target, The Environment Minister Says” • The Japanese government will raise its greenhouse gas reduction target, Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said in an interview. “The use of renewable energy sources is the most important key” to reduce emissions, he added. [The Japan Times]

¶ “The Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV Is Creating An Awesome New Market” • In the middle of last year, General Motors, SAIC, and Wuling partnership released the Hong Guang MINI EV, with a $4,200 starting price. In the second half of 2020, 119,255 MINI EVs were sold in China, second only to the Tesla Model 3, which sold 139,925 units for the year. [CleanTechnica]

Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV (GM image)

¶ “Paris Looks To Citizen Power To Speed Up Energy Transition” • French citizens’ cooperative EnerCit’if aims to install 14 solar power plants in Paris before the end of the year, a project that is being seen as an opportunity to boost citizen participation in the city’s energy transition. The solar plants will be 60% financed by the Paris City Council. [EURACTIV.com]

¶ “Renewables, Declining Costs Fuel The Global Energy Storage Market” • The continual expansion of intermittent renewables and declining technology costs are key factors fueling the global grid battery energy storage market, according to recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan. The market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 23%. [Solar Industry]

Battery supporting the grid (theslowlane, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Climate Emergency Stymies Forecasts of Local Disaster Risks” • The insurance industry is dedicating a growing portion of its research to the challenge of understanding how global climate trends affect the frequency and intensity of weather disasters as it tries to estimate the smaller-scale impacts that threaten homes, businesses, and lives. [Scientific American]

US:

¶ “Three Hundred Business Leaders Ask Biden Administration To Double Emissions Cuts” • A group of 300 major businesses signed an open letter to President Biden asking him to double the carbon emissions reductions the Obama administration had proposed. If enacted, emissions would be reduced 50% by 2030 from 2005 levels. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution (Image retrieved from NOAA, public domain)

¶ “Apple’s $200 Million Fund Aims To Fight Climate Change And Boost Business” • Apple has announced the Restore Fund, a $200 million investment fund designed to remove a million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year and support sustainable forestry – and to generate financial returns for the company. [CNN]

¶ “Massachusetts Backtracks On Renewable Energy Subsidies For Wood-Burning Biomass Plants” • After loud cries of opposition, the Baker administration says it no longer stands behind a plan it proposed last December to change state regulations to allow some wood-burning biomass power plants to qualify for renewable energy subsidies. [WBUR]

Waste wood chips from logging (Annie Ropeik, NHPR)

¶ “Secretary Deb Haaland Establishes Climate Task Force And Strengthens Scientific Integrity” • Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued two Secretarial Orders to prioritize action on climate change throughout the Department and to restore transparency and integrity in the Department’s decision-making processes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Will Every New Car And Truck In US Be Electric By 2035?” • A report from UC Berkeley, it’s feasible for the US to make the shift to 100% electric car and truck sales by 2035. Doing so would save consumers $2.7 trillion, reduce air pollution, preventing 150,000 premature deaths and avoiding $1.3 trillion in environmental and health costs by 2050.” [CleanTechnica]

Electric car (Ed Harvey, Unsplash)

¶ “Washington Sets Most Aggressive Gas Car Ban Yet” • The Clean Cars 2030 bill just passed both houses of the Washington state legislature. If implemented (there are some catches), the bill would put Washington ahead of all other states and many other countries in terms of how fast they’ll require new light vehicles to be zero-emission. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Illinois May Have To Subsidize More Exelon Reactors To Keep Them Running: Study” • Illinois may have to subsidize more of Exelon’s nuclear plants if it wants to keep them going, according to a study. Illinois hired Synapse Energy Economics, a consulting firm, to conduct the study after Exelon said that it would retire “uneconomic” nuclear reactors. [Reuters]

Have a by-golly glorious day.

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