Archive for the 'wind' Category

August 22 Energy News

August 22, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “How The Climate Crisis Is Changing Hurricanes” • The proportion of high-intensity hurricanes has increased due to warmer global temperatures, according to a UN climate report released earlier this month. Scientists have also found that the storms are more likely to stall and lead to devastating rainfall, and they last longer over land. [CNN]

Hurricane (Pixabay, Pexels)

¶ “Why Autumn Weather Won’t Be The Same This Year” • At the halfway point of August, fall is quickly approaching. But warm temperatures and prolonged drought could continue, hindering the traditional fall feeling of cool, crisp mornings with beautiful foliage on the trees. The Climate Prediction Center also raised chances for La Niña this fall. [CNN]

¶ “CEO Karsten Temme Of PivotBio On Microbes Reducing Agriculture GHG Emissions” • PivotBio was founded on the basis of a eureka moment. Microbes that fix nitrogen don’t work hard in fields that are fertilized. When microbes can be made to fix nitrogen constantly in fertilized fields, fertilizing is needed less frequently, reducing emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Agriculture (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

World:

¶ “The Middle East Is Running Out Of Water, And Parts Of It Are Becoming Uninhabitable” • Lakes in the Middle East are drying up, and there are concerns that they will disappear entirely. The region has witnessed persistent drought and temperatures so high that they are barely fit for human life. And from this point, things are just getting worse. [CNN]

¶ “Major Solar Energy Project Coming To Israel” • A bid for plans for a 300-MW solar farm in Israel that will provide significant electricity reserves for the country received 11 proposals from national and international groups. The solar farm is to be spread over 3,000 acres. Some electricity will be routed to a battery storage facility. [The Jerusalem Post]

Solar panels (Pixabay, Pexels)

¶ “Need For Generation Licences For Small-Scale Renewable Energy-Based Systems Eliminated” • In Pakistan, the Cabinet Committee on Energy approved the proposal of the Power Division for eliminating the need for generation licences for small-scale Renewable Energy based systems of up to 25 kW for net metering. [Business Recorder]

¶ “With 4 Lakh (400,000) Renewable Energy Installations By July, Odisha Achieves Milestone” • In India, the Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency has made significant strides in generation and use of renewable energy in the state with more than 400,000 installations serving around 5.5 million people. [Sambad English]

Rooftop solar in India (Thamizhpparithi Maari, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “UK Government Announces £12 Million Energy Storage Solution Competition” • The UK Government is planning to award up to £12 million in prize money to innovators competing to develop the nation’s next energy storage solutions. Entries are welcome, so long as pre-existing commercialised technologies are not put forward. [Energy Digital]

US:

¶ “Hurricane Henri: East Coast Warned Of Significant Damage” • Residents on the East Coast have been urged to prepare for one of the most powerful storms in years. Hurricane Henri, which has strengthened from a tropical storm, is expected to hit Long Island and southern parts of New England. Hurricanes are rare for this part of the US coastline. [BBC]

Coming storm (Shashank Sahay, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Switching To LFP Batteries For Standard Range Model 3 And Model Y” • Though it is probably wise not to be moved by internet rumors, they sometimes pan out. There’s the rumor of standard range Model 3 and Model Y vehicles made in Fremont getting LFP (LiFePO₄) batteries. Tesla already has experience with this configuration in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Exelon Generation Receives US DOE Grant To Explore Hydrogen Production At Oswego Nuclear Station” • Exelon will partner with Nel Hydrogen, Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory and the National Energy Laboratory to demonstrate integrated production, storage and normal usage at the Nine Mile Point nuclear plant. [H2 View]

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August 21 Energy News

August 21, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “What My Departure From Conservatism Can Teach Us About Getting Conservative Support For Climate Policy” • Try a gentle approach to get conservative support. Perhaps, “Hey, honest question. I remember that conservatives used to like alternative energy a few years ago. George Bush even signed the EV tax credits. What happened?” [CleanTechnica]

Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull (Wikipedia)

¶ “The Power Of Wind: Interview With Bound4blue Founder” • Shipowners and operators may be able to decrease their fuel-related costs and pollutant emissions up to 30%, thanks to a wind-assisted propulsion system created by Bound4blue. The Beam had an interview with one of the founders, José Miguel Bermúdez. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “UK’s Climate Spokesperson Pushes Anti-Electric Car Myths – Brilliant!” • Allegra Stratton, Boris Johnson’s spokesperson for the Cop26 climate summit, seems to have a talent for making daft, headline-generating statements. In an interview with Times Radio, she said she drives an old diesel VW Golf. She will not own an EV because of range anxiety. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla police car (Courtesy of Tesla UK)

¶ “Zambia Has A New President Who Could Help Accelerate The World’s Transition To Sustainable Energy” • President-elect Hakainde Hichilema is determined to push Zambia forward as a key player in the new low carbon world order. The secret weapon he plans to use for this is copper. Zambia is Africa’s second largest producer of copper. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alpine Solar Project To Help Fill Swiss Winter Energy Gaps” • A 2.2-MW solar plant project, developed by Swiss energy group Axpo and partner IWB, is part of Swiss plans to plug the gap left by the phaseout of nuclear energy while also aiming to reach net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The solar array is on the face of the dam at the Muttsee Reservoir. [Rappler]

Muttsee (Wala, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Broome’s Solar Cap Hinders Transition To Renewables But Hope Is On Horizon” • There are big opportunities for solar power in Broome, Western Australia, where the sun shines 350 days per year, but Horizon Power limits grid-tied rooftop solar power because of transmission constraints. This problem will not last much longer, however. [ABC]

¶ “As Carbon Capture, Storage Spending Nears $4 Billion, What Are The Options For Heavy Industry?” • As climate change is increasingly pressing, Australia is looking at carbon capture and storage. Data shows that almost $4 billion of taxpayer money has been spent on the technology, and after decades it is still not operating at industry scale. [ABC]

Carbon capture system (Coal21 image)

¶ “US Will Oppose Fossil Fuel Projects At Development Banks” • The Biden administration released new guidance that will lead the US to oppose financing fossil fuel projects at the Multilateral Development Banks. Under the new guidance US will support financing fossil fuel projects by such international banks only under extremely rare circumstances. [NRDC]

¶ “GEG Partners With Proman On Scottish Green Methanol Plant” • Global Energy Group, owners of the Nigg Oil Terminal in Scotland, has partnered with Proman, a Swiss-based energy company, to develop a renewable power to methanol plant at the terminal. The two parties will source carbon dioxide from local industries. [Power Engineering International]

Offshore wind terminal (GEG image)

¶ “‘Too Hypocritical For Words’: Burning Wood For Power Isn’t Sustainable, Says Flemish Minister Of Energy” • The Flemish Minister of Energy is calling into question the practice of burning trees to generate power, a procedure she says doesn’t pass the sustainability test given that the trees are often shipped from faraway places. [The Brussels Times]

US:

¶ “Hurricane Warnings Posted For Long Island, Southern New England As Henri Looks To Make Landfall Sunday” • As Tropical Storm Henri moved north through the Atlantic on Friday night, hurricane warnings were posted from New York’s Long Island to Rhode Island and a tropical storm warning was issued for New York City. [CNN]

Hurricane Henri’s rainfall potential (NOAA image)

¶ “Missouri Among States Most Dependent On Fossil Fuels” • With the effects of global climate change becoming increasingly apparent, policymakers across the US are moving to reduce the nation’s reliance on carbon-based fossil fuels. In Missouri, 88% of the energy is derived from fossil fuels. Coal is the main fuel for generating electricity. [St Joseph News-Press]

¶ “Offshore Wind Would Help Save California $1 Billion” • Offshore wind electricity could bring employment gains, cost savings, carbon dioxide reductions, and improve the stability of California’s electric grid according to a study from the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, “California’s Offshore Wind Electric Opportunity.” [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Zoltan Tasi, Unsplash)

¶ “States Take The Lead On Renewables In 2021” • While federal leaders continue deliberations on how to build a cleaner, healthier future, states are making strides to advance renewable energy, according to a new roundup of state legislative highlights from Environment America’s report, “The United States of Clean Energy, Summer 2021.” [Solar Industry]

¶ “Vistra Completes Expansion Of Battery Energy Storage System At Its Flagship California Facility” • Vistra completed construction on Phase II of its Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility. The system is now storing and releasing power for California’s grid. The facility’s capacity of 400 MW, 1,600 MWh makes it the largest of its kind. [Yahoo Finance]

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August 20 Energy News

August 20, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Automated Energy Transfer Vessel Would Expand Wind Farms Opportunities” • PowerX, a Japanese start-up company is developing a unique vessel, the Power ARK 100. It is a trimaran designed for transferring renewable energy in Japan’s coastal water. It would carry electricity from wind turbines to shore in a massive battery array. [The Maritime Executive]

Power ARK 100 trimaran (PowerX image)

¶ “New Innovations Bolster American Workforce And Advance Building Envelope Retrofits” • The US DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has announced the ten winners for the first phase of a $5 million competition focused on fast-tracking advanced robotics technologies for building envelope retrofits. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Rain Fell At The Summit Station In Greenland For The First Time On Record” • For the first time on record, precipitation at the National Science Foundation’s Summit Station was rain and not snow. Summit Station is at Greenland’s highest point. It has been staffed since 1989, and it has been under observation by satellite since the 1970s. [CNN]

Ice formed by rain on Greenland snow (Alicia Bradley, NSF)

¶ “Oil Firms Made False Claims On Blue Hydrogen Costs, Says Ex-Lobby Boss” • Oil companies have used false claims over the cost of producing fossil fuel hydrogen to win over the Treasury and access billions in UK taxpayer subsidies, according to the outgoing hydrogen lobby boss. He quit because the schemes “make no sense at all.” [The Guardian]

¶ “XPeng To Double Production Capacity To 200,000 EVs A Year” • XPeng’s Zhaoqing Smart Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Base can currently produce about 100,000 “smart electric vehicles” per year, but the company is now bringing the factory into a second phase of development and aims to double its production capacity. [CleanTechnica]

XPeng EV manufacture (XPeng image)

¶ “Household Power Bills Could Jump If Aging Power Plants Are Paid To Remain Open, Report Warns” • Households on the eastern and south-eastern coasts of Australia could see their power bills jump by amounts ranging from $182 to $430 per year if they are forced to pay coal and gas plants to keep running, a report warns. [ABC]

¶ “Candela Builds Most Efficient Boat Motor Ever. Of Course It’s Electric!” • Swedish electric boat maker Candela has released pictures of a boat motor that looked like a cross between a Mark 48 torpedo and a Tomahawk cruise missile. Meet the Candela C-Pod, the most efficient marine outboard ever made. And it’s 100% electric – of course! [CleanTechnica]

Candela C-Pod 1 (Candela image)

¶ “France, Germany, UK Very Worried About Iran’s Uranium Enrichment” • France, Germany, and Britain voiced grave concern about a report that Iran had accelerated its enrichment of uranium to near weapons-grade, saying this was a serious violation of its commitments. The IAEA reported that Iran was enriching uranium to 20% fissile purity. [Ynetnews]

¶ “MingYang Unveils 16-MW Offshore Giant” • The Chinese turbine manufacturer MingYang has launched a 16-MW offshore machine with a 242-meter rotor. The MySE 16.0-242 is designed for high-wind sites including typhoon-class IEC TC, and features 118-meter long blades. MingYang said it will be tailored for North Sea deployment. [reNEWS]

MingYang turbine (MingYang image)

US:

¶ “Tesla’s New Product – Robot Hamburger Flipper” • As is often the case with Elon, at the end of the AI Day presentation today, there was a surprise announcement of a new product. In this case, it was a human-like robot with the FSD computer inside of it to direct its actions. It is designed to do things humans really don’t want to do. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Stanley Black & Decker Bets On Foam “Superbattery” Energy Storage Revolution” • Stanley Black & Decker got a jump on the rest of the world for solid state battery technology. It took a plunge into the field through the little known Colorado startup Prieto Battery back in 2016. Now it looks like all that hard work is about to pay off. [CleanTechnica]

Prieto Battery system (Prieto Battery image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “US Energy Secretary Meets With Navajo Nation In New Mexico” • US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm met with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and other tribal leaders at the Four Corners Power Plant in northwest New Mexico to talk about renewable energy initiatives, including a solar project and an energy storage system. [AP News]

¶ “CEP Renewables Develops Largest Landfill Solar Project In North America” • CEP Renewables LLC is to build the largest solar project on a capped landfill in North America. The 25.6 MW (DC) solar project in Mount Olive, New Jersey, transforms the former Combe Fill North Landfill Superfund site into a clean energy asset. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar array (Courtesy of CEP Renewables)

¶ “Wind Project Would Double Idaho’s Turbine Energy Output” • A proposed energy project in south-central Idaho would more than double the amount of wind energy produced in the state. The US Bureau of Land Management is taking comments on the 1,000-MW project proposed by Magic Valley Energy. It would include 400 wind turbines. [Kenosha News]

¶ “AES Kicks Off 72 MW Of Michigan Solar Construction” • AES has chosen US engineering, procurement and construction contractor Borrego to engineer and construct three solar projects in Michigan, totaling 72 MW. The three projects, which are in Cement City, Pullman, and Letts Creek, are scheduled to come online by mid-2022. [reNEWS]

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August 19 Energy News

August 19, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Eight Zero-Emission Transport Items That *Need* To Be In The Next Reconciliation Bill” • There were several provisions in the infrastructure bill that we worked hard to make sure were included (and were as good as possible), but almost none of them go as far as we would have liked or climate needs demand. Here are eight we need. [CleanTechnica]

Capitol building (Wendy Maxwell, Pexels)

¶ “Contradictory Headlines Show Fossil Fuel Market Confusion” • It surely must be turmoil in the fossil fuel future predictions industry. Huge variations can be found in expectations of supply and demand. A recent newsletter from mining.com showed this in its headlines, all in the one issue of its energy news digest. My head is spinning. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Plugin Vehicles Score 15% Market Share In China In July!” • Plugin vehicles continue to see record or near-record levels in China, having scored 231,000 registrations in July. That pulls the year-to-date tally to 1.3 million units, which is already more than this market had in the whole year of 2020. … And remember, we are still just at July. [CleanTechnica]

Wuling HongGuang Mini EV (David290, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Australia’s Big Four Banks To Stop Lending To Thermal Coal Mining And Coal Fired Power Plants” • The Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac, and National Australia Bank all committed to stop fossil fuel financing. They are increasing commitments to sustainable lending, and they are reducing their exposure to the risks of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Northland Signs Up Locals To Back ScotWind Bid” • As part of its ScotWind bid, Northland Power has signed memoranda of understanding with the Western Isles Council and the region’s higher education institutions. The agreements cover topics ranging from domestic use of hydrogen to development of local skills for offshore wind farms. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Northland Power image)

¶ “Italian Energy Giant Plans Another 1,000 MW Of Renewables In Australia And Seeks Retail Licence” • Italian energy giant Enel, the biggest EU utility by some metrics, is seeking a retail energy licence in Australia to support its plans to grow its solar and wind portfolio by another 1,000 MW and provide power to industrial and commercial customers. [Renew Economy]

¶ “‘Green Steel’: Swedish Company Ships First Batch Made Without Using Coal” • The Swedish venture Hybrit said it was delivering the steel to truck-maker Volvo AB as a trial run before full commercial production in 2026. Volvo has said it will start production in 2021 of prototype vehicles and components from the green steel. [The Guardian]

Iron made in the green steelmaking process (Hybrit image)

¶ “Spain Looks To Cut Soaring Power Prices With More Renewables” • Spain, one of the fastest-growing renewable energy markets in Europe, is looking to award 3.3 GW of new wind and solar capacity. The Spanish government expects that the additional supply of electricity will help it cut sharply rising power prices, Bloomberg reports. [Oil Price]

India:

¶ “By Upgrading Old Wind Turbines, India Can Achieve Its Renewable Energy Targets” • India’s current installed wind power generating capacity is 39.2 GW. The country is targeting 60 GW by 2022. Progress is now slow. But the best sites for wind are the ones with the oldest turbines, and repowering them could put that goal within reach. [Scroll.in]

Wind turbines (Pixabay, Pexels, CC0)

¶ “India Proposes New Green Energy Rules To Promote Renewable Power” • The Indian government has proposed a new set of rules “Draft Electricity (promoting renewable energy through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2021” for purchase and consumption of green energy, including green hydrogen and waste-to-energy plants. [Mongabay-India]

¶ “Maharashtra Renewable Plans Back On Track, Powered By Lower Costs” • So far, 2021 has been a good year for renewable energy growth in Maharashtra. MSEDCL is finally happy with the bids it received for its recent tenders. With prices dropping to as low as ₹2.42 (3.3¢) for its last solar tender and ₹2.62 (3.5¢) for its Solar+Wind hybrid tender. [Saur Energy]

Mumbai, Maharashtra (Vijit Bagh, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Tesla Aims To Become A Retail Electric Provider In Texas” • Tesla is looking to become a retail electricity provider in Texas, according to Energy Choice Matters. The article noted that Tesla is seeking the certificate and it applied for Option 1 Texas retail electric provider certificate. Tesla already offers retail electricity in Australia and the UK. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BlackRock Acquires US Wind And Solar Portfolio” • BlackRock Real Assets acquired National Renewable Solutions, a renewable energy developer focused on early stage wind and solar projects in the US. BlackRock has a current project development pipeline of more than 3.5 GW, with assets in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Johanna Montoya, Unsplash)

¶ “Community Power Plan Gets A Charge” • The Plainfield Selectboard voted unanimously to join the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire, a nonprofit energy aggregator that buys power for municipalities while limiting their legal and financial liability. Lebanon had already voted in favor of an agreement with the coalition. [Valley News]

¶ “New Criminal Charges Filed In SC’s Nuclear Plant Failure, Revealing How Project Unraveled” • A second high-ranking employee of Westinghouse Electric faces criminal charges that relate to the multi-billion dollar failure of the SCANA nuclear project, an 18-page indictment shows. It was made public in US District Court in Columbia, South Carolina. [The State]

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August 18 Energy News

August 18, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Higher Carbon Prices Driving Greater Interest In Carbon Capture Technology” • Carbon capture is expensive, at about $120 a ton, and it doesn’t work very well. It may be a decade or more before carbon capture is commercially viable. But as countries prices on carbon, it might be possible to make carbon capture profitable. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Automated Disassembly Line Aims To Make Battery Recycling Safer, Faster” • Researchers at the US DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, have developed a robotic disassembly system for spent electric vehicle battery packs. It can recycle and reuse critical materials safely and efficiently while reducing toxic waste. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Teams Ride A Wave Of Winnings To Succeed In The Water Desalination Challenge” • Oncoming storms and hurricanes create challenges for remote, coastal, and island communities, like reliable access to energy and drinking water. To help people overcome such challenges, innovators are tapping into the power of ocean waves. [CleanTechnica]

Wave (Linus Nylund, Unsplash)

¶ “Major Nuclear Fusion Milestone Reached As ‘Ignition’ Is Triggered In A Lab” • An experiment appears to have triggered “ignition” (energy output greater than input) for the first time, at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California, with extreme temperatures and pressures like those of the center of the Sun. [Imperial College London]

World:

¶ “Thousands Evacuated As Blaze Rages Near French Riviera” • A wildfire that broke out on Monday close to the French Riviera has already consumed 6,000 hectares (14,820 acres), according to fire officials. Thousands of people, including tourists staying in campsites, have been moved to safety as firefighters work to bring the wildfire under control. [BBC]

Fire (Vladyslav Dukhin, Pexels)

¶ “Australia In The Race For Green Hydrogen” • There is a green gold rush going on in Australia at the moment. Billions of dollars in investment are flowing into the production of green hydrogen. Before you reach for your keyboard, let me stress this hydrogen is green. The plans include massive wind and solar farms to power hydrolysis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia’s Longest Electric Superhighway” • Not to be shown up by Queensland’s Electric Super Highway, the government of Western Australian announced its own, running from Kununurra to Esperance. At 3205 km, it is the longest electric highway in the country. With 45 chargers placed every 200 km, range anxiety should be a thing of the past. [CleanTechnica]

Electric Highway in Western Australia (Google Maps image)

¶ “IKEA To Start Selling Renewable Electricity To Swedish Households” • Ikea, which started selling solar panels and other equipment at its stores sometime back, is now moving into direct electricity selling too. IKEA’s solar panel producer, Svea Solar will be buying electricity on the Nordic power exchange Nord Pool and resell it without surcharge. [Saur Energy]

¶ “Asia-Pacific CPPAs Surge To 3.8 GW” • Corporate renewable power purchase agreement activity in the Asia Pacific region more than doubled to 3800 MW in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to Wood Mackenzie. This is despite project delays from labor shortages and logistic disruptions from the pandemic. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Peter Franken, Unsplash)

¶ “China Has Approved A Renewable Mega-Project For Green Hydrogen” • The Energy Administration of Inner Mongolia has approved a massive hydrogen project. It gave the go-ahead to a cluster of plants in the cities of Ordos and Baotou that will use 1.85 GW of solar and 370 MW of wind to produce 66,900 tons of green hydrogen per year. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Watchdog Halts Tsuruga Nuclear Safety Assessment After Data Tampering” • Japan’s nuclear regulator said it will pause its safety assessment of a central Japan reactor in response to the operator having tampered with key geological data related to a fault underneath the facility, putting in doubt its restart after a 10-year shutdown. [The Mainichi]

Tsuruga nuclear plant (Hirorinmasa, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “EVgo Announces New Plans, Shows Us One Of Its Big Electric Bills” • A recent email from EVgo told current customers about upcoming changes to the company’s charging plans. In a link, the company also gave us a good look at what it takes to support a DC Fast Charging station financially. It provided the electric bill for one charging station. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Portland-Based Renewable Energy Company Gets $25 Million In Growth Capital” • Ocean Renewable Power Co, a marine renewable energy business based in Portland, Maine, announced that it has secured investments totaling $25 million. The funding comes from a consortium including two Canadian companies, according to a news release. [Mainebiz]

RivGen Power System in Igiugig, Alaska (ORPC image)

¶ “GOP Wants State Study Of Renewable Energy” • Republicans in the New York State legislature have introduced a proposal that would require the Public Service Commission and NYSERDA to conduct a full cost-benefit analysis of renewable energy systems and to compare those costs with other ways of producing electricity. [Observer Today]

¶ “Biden Administration: Solar Could Provide 40% Of US Power By 2035” • Solar power plants could supply more than 40% of the nation’s electricity by 2035, up from 3% today, if Congress adopts such policies as tax credits for renewable energy projects and component factories, according to a memo published by the US Department Of Energy. [Reuters]

Have a tolerably flawless day.

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August 17 Energy News

August 17, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “How US Congress Can Get Cities Moving” • Cities and their partners have made significant strides with climate-friendly transportation policies to encourage people to bike, walk, or use public transit instead of driving. But local action can’t tackle the climate crisis alone. The federal government has tools to support bottom-up climate action. [CleanTechnica]

Bike lane in Boston (Aaron Doucett, Unsplash)

¶ “Did The US Spend Two Decades And Trillions Of Dollars In Afghanistan And Iraq Because Of Oil Addiction?” • After 9/11, the needs were obvious. We “needed” to secure our oil supplies. We “needed” to have the strongest presence in this “oil-rich” region of the world. The cost? Well, never mind the cost, short term and long term – it was a “necessity.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bipartisan Support For Clean Energy Appears To Be Growing” • Many observers on Capitol Hill were surprised that nineteen Republican senators supported the bipartisan infrastructure package that overwhelmingly passed the Senate last week. After decades of climate change denial and opposition to clean energy, the GOP seems to be changing. [TheHill]

Wind turbines (Pixabay, Pexels, CC0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Experts Say Record-Setting Heat And Wildfires Just A Taste What’s Coming In Our Future” • Historic heat waves have been ravaging the Pacific Northwest, wildfires blaze across California and Oregon, and July was the hottest month on record. Extreme weather could offer a preview of what to expect in forecasts of the near future, experts suggest. [TheHill]

¶ “Cities Like Paris May Be Optimal Urban Form For Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • Researchers at CU Boulder are part of a newly published study that finds that low-rise, high-density environments like those found in Paris are the optimal urban form when looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over their whole life cycle. [CleanTechnica]

Paris buildings (Nil Castellví, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “UK Government Launches Plan For A World-Leading Hydrogen Economy” • With its new Hydrogen Strategy, the UK plans to produce tens of thousands of jobs, billions of pounds in investment, and new export opportunities. It hopes to unlock these to create a thriving low carbon hydrogen sector over the next decade and beyond. [GOV UK]

¶ “How Water Shortages Are Brewing Wars” • Over the course of the 20th Century, global water use grew at more than twice the rate of population increase. Today, this dissonance is leading many cities to ration water. Water crises have been ranked in the top five of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks by Impact list nearly every year since 2012. [BBC]

Ho Chi Mihn City (Polina Rytova, Unsplash)

¶ “Low Carbon Acquires 30-MW Finnish wind” • Low Carbon recently completed the acquisition of the Morknasskogen wind project in Finland. The 30-MW, five-turbine facility forms part of Low Carbon’s exclusive renewables pipeline of more than 120 MW being developed in the country. Construction is expected to start in early 2022. [reNEWS]

¶ “Unlocking Renewables In Victoria” • In the western parts of Victoria, rich in solar and wind resources, many solar and wind projects are stuck because of grid stability and access problems. They are facing lengthy delays in getting connected, and even when connected, their output is curtailed. However, there is progress going on. [CleanTechnica]

Victoria landscape (Zac Porter, Unsplash)

¶ “China’s Cash For UK Nuclear Plants Is In Doubt” • In order to finance the construction of nuclear stations that are supposed to generate up to 20% of the UK’s electricity, the UK government needs Chinese money. Without it, the already prohibitively expensive projects may become completely unaffordable. And that money is in doubt. [Eco-Business.com]

¶ “UK Storage Start-Up Swoops On 160-MW Battery Pipeline” • Renewables infrastructure start-up Field has secured a 160-MW battery storage pipeline in the UK, with construction underway on the first 20-MW site. Field, founded earlier this year, has a pipeline of sites across the UK, with advanced discussions for a further 330 MW. [reNEWS]

Energy storage (Southern Power image)

US:

¶ “First-Ever Water Cuts Declared For Colorado River In Historic Drought” • The federal government has now declared a water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time ever, triggering mandatory water consumption cuts for states in the Southwest, as climate change-fueled drought pushes the level in Lake Mead to unprecedented lows. [CNN]

¶ “BOEM Wraps Up South Fork Environmental Review” • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has completed its environmental review of the proposed South Fork Wind project in waters offs New York and Rhode Island. The project will deliver approximately 130 MW of power to South Fork of Long Island, New York. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Jack Hunter, Unsplash)

¶ “US Energy Official To Visit NM Amid Renewable Push” • US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will be in New Mexico for a two-day visit. She and Senator Martin Heinrich (D) are to meet with local leaders and organizations about the state’s push for more renewable energy and efforts to lower costs as utilities face a mandate to lower emissions. [Albuquerque Journal]

¶ “Greenbacker Renewable Energy Acquires 40 MW Of Solar Projects In New York” • Through a subsidiary, Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company purchased two 20-MW (AC) solar projects from Hecate Energy. The acquisitions of Hecate Energy Albany 1 and Hecate Energy Albany 2 showcase Greenbacker’s expansion into New York. [Solar Builder]

Have a phenomenonally gratifying day.

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August 16 Energy News

August 16, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “How Extreme Weather Makes Everything Harder, Except Climate-Risk Analysis” • The IPCC report has a clarity that is sobering. What does this newfound certainty mean for investors trying to hedge against climate risks? In the first half of this year, insured losses from catastrophes topped $42 billion, and they are growing. [Insurance Journal]

Hurricane (Zoltan Tasi, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Agora Energy’s Solution Will Turn CO₂ And Electricity Into Industrial Feedstocks Cheaply” • The carbonates of potassium and sodium are in lots of things we use daily. But making them uses quite a lot of energy. While the Agora Energy redox flow battery stores electricity at a very low cost, it also draws down CO₂, and carbonates are by-products. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “UK Government To Review Green Retail Electricity Tariffs” • The UK government is concerned that energy companies could be exaggerating how environmentally friendly their products are, and it said it will review green retail electricity tariffs. The review will look into the current system’s transparency and whether its rules are fit for their purpose. [Reuters]

Birds on wires (Pixabay, Pexels)

¶ “Bridgend Renewable Energy Firm Wins Royal Mint Contract” • The Welsh renewable energy company Infinite Renewables has won the tender to supply power directly to the Royal Mint. Local Energy Centre is on a site in Llantrisant. The project will include solar, wind, hydrogen-ready Combined Heat and Power, and battery storage technologies. [Business News Wales]

¶ “ACWA Power Hits Financial Close On 1.5-GW Saudi Solar” • ACWA Power has reached financial close on the 1.5-GW Sudair solar plant in Saudi Arabia, with the Public Investment Fund renewable energy program supporting the project. A specialised Saudi technical team at the Ministry of Energy selected the site for the Sudair project. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Saudi Aramco image)

¶ “NSW’s Roadmap To Renewables” • The New South Wales Committee on Environment and Planning outlined the future of its energy infrastructure, focusing on a transition to renewable sources. The Committee noted that NSWs’ coal-fired generating system is aging, and that many factors were driving a transition to sustainable energy. [Energy Magazine]

¶ “Concerns At Increasing Demands On Electricity Grid” • The Irish electricity grid faces increased prospects of blackouts this winter as emergency plans to import generators have stalled, according to a professor of energy engineering at University College Cork. One problem has been lack of maintenance for two gas plants due to Covid-19. [RTE]

Data center (imgix, Unsplash)

¶ “Construction Jobs In Renewables Two-Thirds Down On 2018, Says Clean Energy Council” • The pace of construction in Australian renewable energy is declining in 2021 despite global momentum for energy transition technologies. The Clean Energy Council claims some 2,700 jobs have been lost to the sector since 2018. [Stockhead]

US:

¶ “Decarbonized Buildings And Vehicles Create Good Missouri Jobs” • Eliminating carbon emissions from our building and transportation sectors will be critical to maintaining a healthy and livable climate. The good news is that decarbonizing these sectors is also good for our economy. Missouri is home to more than 50,000 clean energy jobs. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it, (NRDC image)

¶ “Elon Musk Shares Details On Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta 9.2 Improvements” • After a Twitter user asked Elon Musk when FSD Beta 9.2 would be released, Elon explained that there had been some unexpected last-minute issues. The anticipated update is now out, and Elon shared more details on the improvements of FSD Beta 9.2. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Transition Faces Roadblocks In New Mexico” • As the alarms increase about the horrors of climate change, New Mexico and the nation are hustling to accelerate their renewable energy efforts. New Mexico has a good start on developing renewable energy, but the transition to green energy is facing delays. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

¶ “UMass Solar Canopies Near Completion” • Two more solar canopies are going up over parking lots at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Together, the 4.09-MW solar canopies are expected to produce about 4.5 million kWh per year. That is enough electricity to provide for the annual needs of around 650 households. [Daily Hampshire Gazette]

¶ “Latest Climate Change Report Underscores Impacts For Skagit County” • Worldwide, the IPCC report shows the kind of heat wave that used to happen only once every 50 years now happens once a decade. For Skagit County, Washington, that means more glaciers melting, more massive wildfires, drought, hot days, bad air quality, and sea-level rise. [goSkagit]

Have a magnificently uncomplicated day.

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August 15 Energy News

August 15, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “How Investors, And Everybody, Should Think About Climate Change” • Companies that don’t make a transition to deal with climate change risk falling behind or having their business models usurped. For example, consider the $5.8 trillion global insurance industry and the upheaval that climate change is creating there. [Yahoo Finance]

Houses built on permafrost (Fbaudoux.ir, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Agora CO₂-Based Redox Battery Wins Global Deeptech Competitions And Has 1 Year ROI” • Agora Energy Technologies has a flow battery that is revolutionary, and has won some well deserved awards. It is based on the chemistry of CO₂, which it captures aggressively in an open-loop system and renders into commercially useful chemicals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wireless EV Charging For Highways – Does Indiana Have The Solution?” • The Indiana Department of Transportation and Purdue University have announced plans to develop the world’s first contactless wireless-charging concrete pavement highway segment. The project will use innovative magnetizable concrete developed by a German startup. [CleanTechnica]

Purdue University (Cole Parsons, Unsplash)

¶ “Activists Call It A ‘False Solution.’ But UN Scientists Say We Need To Suck Up CO₂” • Avoiding climate catastrophe at this point will require removing carbon from the atmosphere. But IPCC report makes clear that averting catastrophe now will require us to develop measurable, surefire ways to suck CO₂ from the air and return it to the ground. [HuffPost]

¶ “Argonne Study On Costs And Benefits Of New Transportation Technologies The Most Comprehensive To Date” • An study from Argonne National Laboratory offers the most complete understanding yet of the costs of owning and operating a vehicle and how those costs vary by powertrain, from the conventional to the cutting-edge. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla charging (Jannis Lucas, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Takes Three Out Of Top Four Spots In July In Germany” • The German plug-in vehicle market scored over 55,000 registrations last month. Full battery EVs were up 52% year over year, and plug-in hybrids were up 58% year over year. This is slower growth than the year to date, which increased 185% and 182% respectively. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japan Rain: Nearly Two Million Residents Told To Seek Shelter” • Nearly two million people have been urged to evacuate their homes because of heavy rainfall in parts of Japan. The evacuations are non-compulsory. The west of the country is worst affected but heavy downpours are expected across the country in coming days. [BBC]

Raindrop (Sourav Mishra, Pexels)

¶ “Saudi Aramco Joins Local 1.5-GW Solar Project With A 30% Stake In Renewables Push” • Saudi Aramco is investing, alongside the country’s sovereign wealth fund and Riyadh-based ACWA Power, in the oil exporter’s largest solar project with a capacity of 1.5 GW as the world’s biggest energy company makes a push into renewables. [S&P Global]

¶ “Just What Australia Needs – More Droughts, More Floods, More Fires” • According to the recent IPCC report, Australia can look forward to more floods, more droughts, more fires, and even drier conditions. While the weather presenters on the news prattle about the wonderful sunny days, the farmers off the coast pray for rain. [CleanTechnica]

Stormy weather (Moritz Böing, Pexels)

¶ “Dublin Solar Power Developer Signs €39 Million Deal For Renewables Ahead Of €500 Million Fundraising Plan” • Dublin solar power developer BNRG has signed a €39 million deal with Paris-listed renewable energy business Neoen for three projects in Ireland. It revealed plans to raise €500 million in debt and equity over the next five years. [Independent.ie]

US:

¶ “As The Climate Crisis Worsens In The US, Pressure For Action From Biden And Kerry Grows” • The Biden administration and Democrats are walking a tightrope, with a razor-thin majority in Congress, to enact policies that will reroute the US economy away from fossil fuels and show the world that the US will lead on climate change. [CNN]

Wind turbines (Narcisa Aciko, Pexels)

¶ “Tesla Model S Plaid Is Ready To Race In Mt Washington Hillclimb Today!” • Before today, no electric car had ever raced in the Mt Washington Hillclimb. Today, two electric cars are racing up the highest peak in the Northeast. One is a modified EV, and one is stock. Eighty cars are racing in the event, which covers 7.6 miles of road. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “FedEx Orders 120 Xos Electric Trucks” • The electric truck market has been a hot topic in the past year or so, but you might not have heard of Xos. Xos produces electric Class 5 and Class 8 commercial trucks, and as you can see in the headline, it has landed a big order with FedEx, with 35 FedEx ground operators, to be specific. [CleanTechnica]

Have an uncommonly peachy day.

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August 14 Energy News

August 14, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “I Toured ‘The Best Damn [Natural Gas] Plant In The Fleet.’ Two Years Later It Exploded” • Two years ago, I went on a tour of the Russell City Energy Center, a California natural gas power plant. Two months ago, the power plant exploded, raining hunks of metal down on its neighborhood. Now the state is racing to put it back online. [CleanTechnica]

Russell City Energy Center (Mark Specht, UCS)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Smoke And Soot From Wildfires May Be Causing More Covid-19 Cases And Deaths, Study Finds” • A study published in the journal Science Advances found that increases in fine particulate matter of the type called PM2.5 from wildfire smoke in 2020 led to increased numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths in California, Oregon, and Washington. [CNN]

¶ “NREL’s Thermoplastic Blade Research Dives Deep With Verdant Power’s Tidal Energy Turbines” • National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers are studying thermoplastic composite blades on a large-scale tidal power turbine for the first time. They have the potential to revolutionize the marine energy industry. [CleanTechnica]

NREL researchers making a blade (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “UN Report: Human Role In Global Warming Overwhelming And ‘Unequivocal’” • The latest scientific assessment from the UN’s IPCC for the first time speaks with certainty about the total responsibility of human activity for the rising temperatures of global warming. The scientists forecast no end to warming trends until emissions cease. [Buenos Aires Times]

¶ “The Planet’s Water Cycle Is Changing Rapidly. Here’s What That Means For Us” • A number of factors are intensifying the water cycle, but one of the most important is that warming temperatures raise the upper limit on the amount of moisture in the air. That increases the potential for more rain. Oddly, it also increases the potential for drought. [Popular Science]

Key parts of the water cycle (NASA image)

World:

¶ “Sales Of Fossil-Fuel Vehicles Have Already Peaked, Bloomberg Says” • A recent article in Bloomberg makes the bold assertion that sales of vehicles with internal combustion engines have already peaked, so the future of the global auto industry belongs to EVs. EVs may still be more expensive than fossils, but that won’t be the case for much longer. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “July Was The Hottest Month On Record” • We just had the hottest month, as a planet, in any of our lifetimes, and we saw the weather extremes that came with it. The global temperature in July 2021 was the highest for any July in the 142 years of records, according to data released today from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. [CNN]

Departure from normal temperatures (NOAA)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “India On Track To Achieve Renewable Energy Target Of 450 GW By 2030” • The Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy, RK Singh, apprised the business leaders that India will achieve the set renewable energy target of 450 GW by 2030. He was interacting with members of the US India Business Council in a virtual event. [Swarajya]

¶ “Study: Renewables Much Cheaper Than Fossils” • Fraunhofer ISE released a levelized cost of energy analysis for power plants in Germany, a place with solar resources comparable to Alaska’s (not a joke). Solar panels are so cheap now and solar power plant systems are so streamlined that solar is just cheap, compared to anything else. [CleanTechnica]

Levelized cost of electricity (Fraunhofer)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Middle East Renewables Surge” • Middle East Energy Transition reports that there were no contract awards for oil-powered or gas-fuelled power stations in the Middle East and North Africa region in the first half of 2021. In the same period, there were about $2.8 billion of renewable energy project contracts awarded. [Power Technology]

US:

¶ “GM Teases Electric Chevy Silverado Pickup Again: What We Know So Far” • Tesla and Ford have shown off their electric pickup trucks, to much fanfare. Now Chevy is finally taking another small step toward a public announcement. I saw “small step” because the company hasn’t really announced anything yet – it’s just teasing it. [CleanTechnica]

Tease of an electric vehicle

¶ “Read All About It! ‘US To Lead In EV Manufacturing'” • US President Joe Biden said that he wanted half of new cars sold in the country to be battery-powered by the end of the decade. To do that, he revealed a multi-layered strategy that would ease US consumers away from gasoline-powered cars and trucks and toward EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “70% Of US EV Battery Cells And 87% Of Battery Packs Made In USA” • The US DOE recently shared that through 2020, most battery cells and packs used in US plug-in vehicles were made in the USA. That’s great news for the USA, but not surprising once you think about it for a moment. It is also not even close to the full story. [CleanTechnica]

Battery sources (Yan Zhou et al, Argonne National Laboratory) Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Clean Energy Projects Highlighted In Granholm’s Alaska Tour” • Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is to spend two days in Alaska traveling with Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski to showcase “America’s living laboratory.” They will visit research projects, such as one to find ways to power remote villages 100% with renewable energy. [Laredo Morning Times]

¶ “Amid Extreme Weather, A Shift Among Republicans On Climate Change” • After a decade of disputing the existence of climate change, many leading Republicans are shifting their posture amid heat waves, drought, and wildfires that have hit their districts and unnerved their constituents. What they will do about it is not settled. [The Seattle Times]

Have an unprecedentedly superb day.

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August 13 Energy News

August 13, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Theory Versus Reality: The Dirty Hydrogen Story” • Not all hydrogen is clean. According to a report in the New York Times, a peer-reviewed study by researchers at Cornell and Stanford finds that most hydrogen used today is extracted from natural gas in a process that requires a lot of energy and emits vast amounts of carbon dioxide. [CleanTechnica]

Shell hydrogen facility (Bexim, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Why Heat Pumps Are The Answer To Heat Waves” • RMI modeled the performance of several cooling options for a Seattle home during the three-day heat wave in June 2021. We found that the heat pump was not only capable of maintaining a safe and comfortable indoor air temperature during extreme heat, but it also has the lowest cost. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “ESB Unveils Irish Green Hydrogen Project” • A large-scale green hydrogen storage project off the coast of Cork, Ireland, was launched by ESB and dCarbonX. Green Hydrogen @ Kinsale is an integrated project that could store up to 3,000 GWh of green hydrogen and hydrogen carriers, the equivalent of about 10% of Irish annual electricity consumption. [reNEWS]

Kinsale, Ireland (Image from Kinsale.ie)

¶ “US Project Enhances Pakistan’s Renewable Energy Capacity” • USAID has increased the wind and solar capacity in Pakistan by approximately 50% by leveraging over $900 million, according to an official statement. USAID partnered with the government of Pakistan to build renewables through the Sustainable Energy for Pakistan project. [The Express Tribune]

¶ “100 GW Renewable Energy Milestone Achieved, Much Work Ahead In India” • India has reached a key milestone of 100 GW of renewable energy capacity, excluding large hydro. Including large hydro, the number goes right up to 146 GW. There are 50 GW of renewable capacity under construction, and 27 GW more are being tendered. [Saur Energy]

Windfarm in Tamil Nadu (Raj, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Australia:

¶ “Large-Scale Solar And Windfarm Investment In Australia Records Major Drop This Year” • In Australia, investment in new large-scale solar and windfarms fell dramatically in the first half of 2021, according to industry data. There has been ongoing concern over delays in getting new renewable energy plants connected to the electricity grid. [The Guardian]

¶ “BEVs Make Slow And Steady Progress In Queensland” • The Queensland government released data detailing the growth of BEVs in the state’s transport fleet. While not quite an S curve, it does show slow and steady progress, almost doubling from April 2020 to April 2021. There was surge of Teslas delivered at the end of the second quarter. [CleanTechnica]

Gold Coast, Queensland (City of Gold Coast, Unsplash)

¶ “Energy Giant’s $2.06 Billion Loss Labeled A ‘Titanic’ Failure” • Australia’s largest energy retailer, AGL, has blamed an “extremely challenging market,” prompted in part by the ongoing growth of renewables, including rooftop solar PV, after reporting a $2.06 billion full-year net loss. AGL is the country’s biggest operator of coal-fired power plants. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “Bill Gates Pledges $1.5 Billion To Climate Projects In The Infrastructure Bill” • Bill Gates has pledged $1.5 billion over three years for climate change partnerships with the DOE, through his climate investment fund Breakthrough Energy. The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill has over $100 billion for addressing climate change. [CNN]

Bill Gates, 2013 (Energy.gov, public domain)

¶ “Tesla Service Center Approved In East Hartford, Connecticut” • Here is some good news for Tesla owners in Connecticut, a state that has heavily favored the whims of dealerships. The Planning and Zoning Commission of East Hartford voted unanimously to approve Tesla’s application to build a service center, the Journal Inquirer reports. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Planning A Wind Energy Project? Two New WINDExchange Resources Can Help” • The DOE’s WINDExchange initiative has released two resources: a report titled “Land-Based Wind Energy Siting” and a web-based Land-Based Economic Development Guide, to help local decision makers see if a wind project is right for their community. [CleanTechnica]

Agriculture and windpower (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Tesla’s Lowest Priced Model 3 Is Sold Out For Rest Of 2021 In USA” • The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is apparently already sold out for the rest of the year in the US. The estimated delivery time if you order a new Model 3 SR+ is now January 2022. Previously, the estimated delivery was for November of this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Facebook Plans To Build Data Center In Mesa Powered By Renewable Energy” • Facebook announced that it is building a data center in metro Phoenix powered only by renewable energy. Once completed, the Mesa facility “will represent an investment of more than $800 million and will support approximately 100 jobs,” Facebook said. [KTAR News]

Rendering of data center (Facebook image)

¶ “With The Growth Of Renewable Energy, The Need For More Trained Workers Is Surging” • Nearly 3.3 million Americans work in clean energy, outnumbering fossil fuel workers by 3-to-1, and the number of jobs is growing remarkably fast. The renewable energy industry will need skilled technicians to provide for the projected growth. [The Business Journals]

¶ “New Jersey’s Largest Energy Company Sells Off Fossil-Fuel Plants” • Public Service Enterprise Group announced that it has agreed to sell its fleet of 13 fossil-fuel plants for $1.92 billion to a Boston-based private equity company that focuses on energy infrastructure investments. It will keep three nuclear plants with state subsidies. [NJ Spotlight News]

Have a prodigiously priceless day.

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August 12 Energy News

August 12, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “We Have The Solutions To The Climate Crisis. Now We Must Act” • We have known for many decades that at some point the day would come when the climate crisis was not a distant future occurrence but happening now. The only remaining question is, how fast will we take action to reduce the consequences of this planetary emergency? [CleanTechnica]

Surveying Arctic ice (NOAA, Unsplash)

¶ “Australia’s Response To The IPCC” • We are doing a great job – everything bad is someone else’s fault. We are waiting for some magic technology to solve the problem for us – no, we won’t use the technology we already have. We have to give all our money to the fossil fuel industry. All we need to meet our energy problems is a Future Fuels Strategy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Small Businesses Can Play A Big Role In Championing Renewables” • A report from Total Retail reveals a noteworthy trend: over four-fifths of Gen Z consumers and three-quarters of millennials consider environmental sustainability in purchasing decisions. They value companies that put responsible and ethical practices to use. [Sustainability Times]

Installing solar panels (Los Muertos Crew, Pexels)

¶ “Utah Cities Shouldn’t Gamble On Nuclear Power” • We’re not into energy politics, and we don’t take positions on the sources or technologies. But one of our critical missions is to protect the taxpayers when governments are looking to make risky bets. If modular nuclear power is ready for market, let the private sector show it by putting up its money. [Deseret News]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Say This Invisible Gas Could Seal Our Fate On Climate Change” • Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is critical to ending the climate crisis. But, for the first time, the UN climate change report emphasized the need to control a more insidious culprit: methane, an invisible, odorless gas 80 times as effective as carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. [CNN]

Atmospheric methane (Jens Mühle, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “Italy May Have Registered Europe’s Hottest Temperature On Record” • The Italian island of Sicily may have registered the hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe – 48.8°C (119.8°F). Regional authorities reported the reading near Syracuse. It still needs to be verified by the WMO. The current official record in Europe is 48°C, registered in Athens in 1977. [BBC]

¶ “Algeria Forest Fires: At Least 65 People Killed As Fires Spread” • Wildfires tearing through northern Algeria have killed at least 65 people, including 28 soldiers deployed to help the firefighters. Some 69 fires were burning on Wednesday, as a heatwave sweeps across North Africa. The flames have been fanned by tinder-dry conditions and strong winds. [BBC]

Algerian countryside (Bilou bilal, Unsplash)

¶ “Audi Is Bringing Six Electric Vehicle Models To South Africa In Q1 2022” • EV sales in South Africa have been quite slow due to several factors. One of these is the small selection of EVs for consumers to choose from. But a wider range is coming. Audi South Africa will launch six all-electric models in the South African market early next year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mainstream, Aker Offshore Wind Take Stake In Japanese Floater” • Mainstream Renewable Power and Aker Offshore Wind, together, were selected as the preferred bidder to acquire an initial 50% in Progression Energy’s 800-MW floating wind project in Japan. The country aims to expand offshore wind energy capacity to 10 GW by 2030. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind project (Principle Power image)

¶ “GIG And TotalEnergies Secure Rights For Korea Floater” • Macquarie’s Green Investment Group and TotalEnergies have secured exclusive development rights for the first phase of a 1500-MW floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Ulsan, South Korea. The plant is to have a maximum capacity of 1.5 GW, developed in three phases. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “US Department Of Energy Awards $45 Million To Advance Solar Manufacturing And Grid Technologies” • The US DOE announced $45 million for projects that will help integrate clean energy sources onto the grid. The purpose of the funding is to advance the domestic manufacturing of solar energy and electric grid technologies. [CleanTechnica]

Transmission lines (James Wainscoat, Unsplash)

¶ “Senator Markey Announces Legislation For Offshore Wind Manufacturing” • Senator Edward J Markey (D-MA), and cosponsors Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), announced the Offshore Wind American Manufacturing Act, to drive US manufacturing and offshore wind deployment. [Senator Edward Markey]

¶ “EDPR Unleashes 180-MW Wildcat Creek” • EDP Renewables North America announced that its 180-MW Wildcat Creek Wind Farm reached commercial operations and is producing energy in Cooke County. Wildcat Creek Wind Farm is EDPR NA’s fifth operating wind farm in Texas and brings its Texas portfolio to 1089 MW of operating capacity. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (EDPR image)

¶ “‘Once-in-a-generation’ Infrastructure Bill To Boost Renewable Energy With Modernized Grid” • From hydrogen pipelines and electric vehicle charging stations to green school buses, the sprawling $1.2 trillion infrastructure package approved in a 69-30 vote on Tuesday features a list of energy projects of all types. [The Florida Star]

¶ “Critics Decry $12 Billion For Nuclear In Infrastructure Bill” • The US Senate has passed a massive infrastructure bill. Buried in the package is $12 billion for the nuclear industry. Half of that money would go to supporting unprofitable nuclear plants, and half to untested technology. Critics say all of the money would be better spent elsewhere. [Public News Service]

Have a plainly magnificent day.

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August 11 Energy News

August 11, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Frightening New Climate Report Also Holds The Seeds Of Hope” • The latest report that just arrived from the IPCC isn’t pretty. But in a year defined by searing heat waves, torrential floods, and raging fires, it is encouraging that the same report that is so frightening also suggests a strategy to alleviate some of its most devastating projections. [CNN]

Extinction Rebellion (Bhuwan Bansal, Unsplash)

¶ “When Do Fossil Fuel Car Sales Collapse?” • I expect fossil fuel car sales to start to really collapse in 2025–2026 in Europe and 2027–2028 in the USA, though, it seems that is already started. But the 50% plugin vehicle share, which Biden’s team is targeting, is not a peaceful state of equilibrium. It’s a point of hyperfast change and disruption. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why Rural America Is Key To Climate Change Policy” • Rural areas represent 86% of persistent poverty counties in the US, and over 50% of rural Black residents live in economically distressed counties. Addressing the climate crisis and lagging economic vitality will require federal investment in building a new climate economy for rural America [GreenBiz]

Farmland (Arno Smit, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Wildfires: How Are They Linked To Climate Change?” • Recent heatwaves and wildfires around the world have caused alarm, with warnings that parts of Europe and North America could be experiencing the worst fire season ever. So how do wildfires compare with previous years? Here is a look at areas around the world that are burning. [BBC]

¶ “Stellantis Takes Four Out Of The Top Five Spots In July In France!” • After a record month in June, the French plugin vehicle market took some time to breathe in July, just 5% above July 2020. That may not seem impressive. But considering that the overall market is down 33% compared to July 2019, that is impressive growth. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Tucson (Duncan Winslow, Unsplash)

¶ “Companies Unite To Develop A Japan-Australia CO₂-Free Hydrogen Supply Chain In South Australia” • A ground-breaking MOU between ENEOS Corporation and Neoen, a world-leading independent renewable energy provider, will explore developing a Japanese-Australian CO₂-free hydrogen supply chain in South Australia. [Premier of South Australia]

¶ “NSW’s Largest Electricity User Plans To Go Green, Abandon AGL’s Coal” • One of the country’s most electricity-intensive smelters plans to switch to renewable energy, a move that would drastically reduce its footprint. It sends power generators a clear message that Australia does not support coal, even if the federal government does. [pv magazine Australia]

Wärtsilä battery storage system (Wärtsilä Corporation)

¶ “Wärtsilä Supplies Battery For Taiwan Grid” • Wärtsilä will supply an energy storage system that will provide frequency regulation in the ancillary service market for the Taiwanese grid as the country aims for a 20% renewables mix by 2025. The 5.2-MW / 5.2-MWh battery order was placed in August 2021 by Shangfa Construction. [reNEWS]

¶ “EU Clean Hydrogen Drive Finds Partners In Kazakhstan And The UK” • The EU is placing a major bet on hydrogen to replace the fossil fuels, oil, gas, and coal, but so far the move has involved a lot of wrangling. EU companies, however, have been moving ahead on their own, making deals in other places, such as the UK and Kazakhstan. [Sustainability Times]

Almaty, Kazakhstan (Alexander Serzhantov, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Well Over 100 Million People Are Under Heat Alerts” • As if hundreds of wildfires, crippling drought, and a summer marked by a once-in-a-lifetime heat wave were not enough, more than 20 million Americans in the western US are on alert again, ahead of another historic heat wave. They are not alone. Over half the US is under heat alerts this week. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Impact Report Highlights Sustainability & Battery Recycling” • Tesla’s focus is on more than building electric vehicles. In its 2020 Impact Report, the company says, “In 2020, Tesla customers helped accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy by avoiding 5.0 million metric tons of CO₂e emissions.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla cars (Tesla image)

¶ “American Canyon Opts Into 100% Renewable Energy For Facilities” • The American Canyon City Council voted to opt the City’s facilities into Marin Clean Energy’s Deep Green 100% renewable energy program. Currently, the California city is enrolled in the Light Green program, MCE’s default energy plan that offers 60% renewable energy. [Patch]

¶ “Winds of Change: Samsung Purchases 100% Renewable Energy in the US” • All Samsung’s facilities in the US, including its manufacturing and distribution sites, use renewable energy. Samsung currently has over 20,000 employees in 46 states, with six major subsidiaries based in California, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Texas. [Samsung Newsroom]

Samsung Semiconductor’s rooftop solar array (Samsung image)

¶ “AEP Energy Procures More Capacity From Mammoth Project In Indiana” • AEP Energy and Doral Renewables have signed a renewable energy purchase agreement for the second phase of the Mammoth solar project in Indiana. The 360-MW Mammoth Solar II is part of the 1.65-GW Mammoth project that Doral has under development. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Salem Township Concerns Over A New Bitcoin Mining Facility To Be Built Near Power Plant” • Talen energy, the owner of the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Salem township, Pennsylvania, announced plans to develop an infrastructure campus next to the plant. The facility would use electricity from the plant to make Bitcoin currency. [PAhomepage.com]

Have a wonderfully lovely day.

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August 10 Energy News

August 10, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Scientists Have Done Their Bit. Now The Pressure Is On World Leaders” • Scientists have warned for decades that we were changing the climate in a way that would have devastating impacts on the planet and our lives. The landmark report from the IPCC showed that it is already happening, and faster than we ever expected. [CNN]

Ice (Johannes Plenio, Unsplash)

¶ “We Saw This Coming” • As I read the press reports, I realized that the joke has been on us. A small group of very smart, very selfish people backed by huge sums of money managed to stop the changes that need to be made to stop climate change. They’ll go to a future Hell of their own creation, but they are bringing us with them. [Environmental Health News]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Was That Wild Weather Caused By Climate Change? Scientists Can Now Say ‘Yes’ With Confidence” • Historic heat waves are so clearly caused by human-driven emissions that researchers can easily link them to climate change. Scientists at World Weather Attribution say this year’s Northwest heat wave would have been “virtually impossible” without it. [CNN]

Rainfall from Hurricane Harvey (National Weather Service)

World:

¶ “Greece Faces ‘Disaster Of Unprecedented Proportions’ As Wildfires Ravage The Country” • Greece faces a “natural disaster of unprecedented proportions,” as 586 wildfires burn all over the country, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised address. Sixty-three organized evacuations have taken place in the past few days. [CNN]

¶ “At-Risk Nations Fear Extinction After IPCC Report” • Nations vulnerable to climate change have warned they are on the “edge of extinction” if action is not taken. The warning by a group of developing countries comes after the landmark UN IPCC report argued that global warming could make parts of the world uninhabitable. [BBC]

Protest sign (Ma Ti, Unsplash)

¶ “The IPCC Environmental Warning India Cannot Ignore” • Among the most serious findings of the sixth assessment report of the UN’s climate science organisation is that some of the climate systems of the planet have already seen irreversible changes due to unabated global warming. India is exposed to both increased droughts and flooding. [BBC]

¶ “Tesla Giga Shanghai’s New Production Rate Is 450,000/Year” • Tesla’s Giga Shanghai reached a milestone earlier this month. It now has an annualized vehicle production rate of 450,000 Models Y and 3 vehicles. Last year, Tesla met a goal of delivering 500,000 cars globally. Now, there are thoughts that Tesla could make 1 million EVs in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Modle Y (Tyler Casey, Unsplash)

¶ “Broad Public Support For Tough Action On Climate Change – Poll” • The survey of 2,046 British adults aged 16 to 75 found 60% wanted a ban on imported goods linked to deforestation, while just 10% did not. The survey also found 58% wanted the UK to use its diplomatic influence to persuade other countries to reduce emissions. [Evening Standard]

¶ “Abandoned Pits Of Former Mining Town Will Fuel Green Revolution” • A garden village with 1,500 homes, a primary school, and shops is being planned on fields near the old mining town of Seaham, County Durham. The heating and hot water for the entire development will come from water pumped from an abandoned mine shaft nearby. [The Guardian]

Miners’ homes in Seaham (peter robinson, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Study Finds 95% Of Renewable Energy Capacity In Richest Countries” • An analysis found that 95% of installed renewables capacity is located in just 16% of global countries, particularly in Global North countries. However, Global South countries have the strongest growth in energy demand, and are still heavily reliant on fossil fuels. [Open Access Government]

US:

¶ “‘Final Warning’: Lawmakers, Biden Administration Sound Alarm Over UN Climate Report And Urge Swift Action” • US Lawmakers and the Biden administration’s top climate officials sounded the alarm in response to a new report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, urging nations to swiftly limit global warming to 1.5°C. [CNN]

Dixie fire Pyrocumulus (Frank Schulenburg, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “‘We’re Seeing Truly Frightening Fire Behavior’ Firefighters Battling The Dixie Fire Say” • Pyrocumulus, firenadoes, dry lightning. It sounds like an apocalyptic movie, but it’s the reality that firefighters are facing. When wildfires are this intense, they can sometimes create their own weather, making their next move nearly impossible to predict. [CNN]

¶ “Ørsted Signs US Power Play With Microsoft” • Ørsted and Microsoft have entered into an agreement for Microsoft to purchase energy from a 430-MW solar farm project in Texas. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will buy power from the Old 300 solar farm in Fort Bend County, which is expected to come online next year. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “Ford’s Got More Ambitious EV Plans Than The White House” • Ford and the Biden administration announced their goals to convert to EVs the same day. Now, we see that the Ford targets, 40–50% full EV sales in 2030, are a bit stronger than the Biden administration’s, which has a goal of 50% plugin and hydrogen vehicle sales by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Push For Green Energy Could Strand More Than $68 B In Coal And Gas Assets, S&P Says” • An ongoing push to expand renewable energy generation in the US could strand at least $68 billion in coal and natural gas power plant investments, an S&P Global Market Intelligence report says. The assets at risk include both coal and gas investments equally. [Utility Dive]

Have a tremendously worthwhile day.

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August 9 Energy News

August 9, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Why China’s Climate Policy Matters To Us All” • China’s carbon emissions are vast and growing, dwarfing those of other countries. Experts agree that without big reductions in China’s emissions, the world cannot win the fight against climate change. China’s President Xi Jinping has said his country will aim for its emissions to peak before 2030. [BBC]

Li River, a different picture of China (Sam Beasley, Unsplash)

¶ “Tipping Points With World Climate Starting – How To Respond?” • I try to remain positive. But increasingly, evidence points to our breaching tipping points that can’t be remediated. There are ice sheets melting, ocean currents changing, record heat in Siberia. I think the answer is hope and work for the best, but prepare for the worst. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IPCC 6: Slash Methane Or Die. Any Questions?” • The sixth IPCC climate report is due out, but there are already broad hints about what it will say. Put together over a period of years by thousands of scientists and climate researchers in 195 countries, IPCC reports offer us a snapshot of where our planet is in terms of human survivability. [CleanTechnica]

Where is our civilization going? (Constantinos Kollias, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Major Climate Changes Now Inevitable And Irreversible, Stark UN Report Says” • The Earth’s climate system is changing across the entire planet and human activities are worsening its effects. As a result, those effects are “widespread, rapid and intensifying,” according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. [The Irish Times]

¶ “Landmark Report Stresses Urgency Of Climate Crisis” • The latest report from the IPCC, to be published today, August 9, stresses the urgency to protect the most ambitious target of the Paris Agreement for global temperature rise to remain below 1.5°C. It says emphatically that the action needed for a stable climate cannot be delayed. [Met Office]

Wildfire smoke (Manny Becerra, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “The World Is On The Brink Of ‘Catastrophe,’ Leader Of Next UN Climate Talks Warns” • Failure to act now on climate change will result in “catastrophic” consequences for the world, the leader of the UN’s next climate talks warned. He warned that the COP26 talks in November would be among the last chances to limit global heating. [CNN]

¶ “Greece Wildfires: Evia Island Residents Forced To Evacuate” • Wildfires are continuing to rip through the Greek island of Evia, prompting residents to flee to safety by sea. More than 2,000 people have already been evacuated. Greece is experiencing its most severe heatwave in 30 years, and temperatures have spiked to 45°C (113°F). [BBC]

Village in central Evia (C messier, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “400-MW Wind Farm In Saudi Arabia Begins Generating” • A 400-MW windpower project in Saudi Arabia is now generating electricity. The project was developed by a consortium led by EDF Renewables and Masdar, two of the leading renewable energy companies in the world. It is comprised of 99 Vestas turbines, each of 4.2-MW capacity. [Saur Energy]

¶ “UK Backs Siemens Gamesa, GRI Factory Plans” • The UK government has selected manufacturers Siemens Gamesa and GRI Renewable Industries to receive grant funding to develop factories in the Humber region. Siemens Gamesa will expand its offshore blade plant in Hull by 41,600 square meters, more than doubling the size of the facilities. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower supply facility (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Derby’s Solar-Powered Future” • Derby, Western Australia, with a population of over 3,300, is celebrating solar installations funded by the state government. The plan has a $66.3 million renewable-energy package, designed to help foster resilience, create sustainable jobs, and promote recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Australia Trails World On Energy Transition And Emissions” • Contrary to the federal government’s talking points, a report found that the country’s performance on energy and emissions trails the rest of the world. The report, Back of the pack, from the progressive think tank The Australia Institute, compares Australia with 23 similar countries. [Renew Economy]

Rooftop solar power in Queensland (Kgbo, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

US:

¶ “Denver Experienced The Worst Air Quality Of Any Major City In The World Due To Smoke From Western Wildfires” • Denver had the worst air quality of any city in the world for several hours Saturday, as heavy smoke from western wildfires polluted the city. The 107 wildfires in the West have burned 2.1 million acres, about a third of the size of Vermont. [CNN]

¶ “The Boring Company In Talks With Austin And San Antonio To Build Tunnels” • The Boring Company has some big plans for a possible transportation tunnel that would go from Giga Texas to Downtown Austin. The company is also in talks with officials in San Antonio for a tunnel in Central Texas similar to the one that opened in Las Vegas. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla in a tunnel (The Boring Company)

¶ “Panther National Partners With Tesla To Build A Luxury Community That Is Sustainable” • Tesla is building a new 218-home luxury development in Florida with solar roofs, batteries, and EV chargers, Yahoo! News reports. Centaur US Holdings is developing the new community, Panther National, around a golf course in Palm Beach. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Challenging Nuclear As Potential Climate Change Solution” • Research suggests that we can power 80% of the US with wind, solar, and 12 hours of energy storage, but replacing the country’s nuclear power plants hasn’t been seen as financially viable. Is that about to change? Moving forward, it seems nuclear has lost its swagger. [PV Magazine]

Have a fabulously amusing day.

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August 8 Energy News

August 8, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Five Key Things To Watch For In The UN Climate Report” • Filled with detail and tracing multiple future scenarios, the IPCC report is likely to run hundreds or even thousands of pages. New research, computer modeling, and data collection will make this report the most comprehensive yet. Here are five key things to watch for. [Thomson Reuters Foundation News]

Lake Tahoe, in drought on a cold winter day (NOAA, Unsplash)

¶ “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Need To Be Reduced Dramatically, But Nuclear Power Isn’t The Way” • There are growing questions as to whether nuclear power plants are a variable “alternative” to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Based just on risk costs, the Fukushima disaster shows that the economics of nuclear power are by no means a safe bet. [The Hankyoreh]

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Machine Learning Breakthrough Uses Satellite Images To Improve Lives” • A team at UC Berkeley has devised a machine learning system to tap the problem-solving potential of satellite imaging, based on low-cost, easy-to-use technology that be used by researchers and governments worldwide. The study appeared in Nature Communications. [CleanTechnica]

Satellite image (Photo by NASA via Pxfuel)

¶ “Virtuous Cycles Of Technology Adoption” • What creates the “S” curve of technology adoption? It is a virtuous cycle. Positive change creates more positive change, just as negative change has the opposite effect. In a report, Carbon Tracker identifies seven of these paired cycles which are creating “S” curves and speeding us toward the future. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Climate Change: Low-Income Countries ‘Can’t Keep Up’ With Impacts” • Low-income countries struggle to protect themselves against climate change, officials and experts have told the BBC. Organisations representing 90 countries say that their plans to prevent damage have already been outpaced by climate-induced disasters, which steadily get worse. [BBC]

Flood (rachman reilli, Unsplash)

¶ “Greece Wildfires: PM Describes ‘Nightmarish Summer” • The prime minister of Greece has talked of a “nightmarish summer” as forest fires continue to ravage the country. Thousands have been evacuated from their homes in various parts of Greece and more than 1,000 firefighters have been deployed to bring the flames under control. [BBC]

¶ “AC Cobra Series 1 Electric Is Ready For Launch” • Storied British car brand AC announced plans for an all-electric version of its iconic AC Cobra Series 1 sportscar last year, with its performance promised to be on par with the original V8. Now, the first of the electric AC Cobras is out on the road, as it goes through real-world testing. [CleanTechnica]

AC Cobra (Image by AC Cars, via EV Obsession)

¶ “ReNew Power Signs PPA With SECI For Country’s Maiden Round-The-Clock Renewable Energy Project” • To supply power from the 400 MW RTC project at 80% utilization rate, ReNew Power will need to install wind and solar capacity, along battery storage facilities, that will bring the total project cost to an estimated $1.2 billion. [The Financial Express]

¶ “Experts Approve Key UN Climate Science Report” • A critical UN science report that will provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date assessment yet of the state of Earth’s climate has been approved by representatives from 195 countries. IPCC delegates had been locked in virtual negotiations for two weeks, vetting the summary of the report. [New Age]

Arctic ice (Melissa Bradley, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “$1.5 Million Grant Will Improve Wildfire Spotting From The Air And Space” • Helped by a $1.5 million grant, a UC Berkeley physicist and a firefighter-turned-scientist plan to outfit spotter planes with improved infrared detectors to study fire. They hope that within four years similar systems in space will do 24/7 fire discovery and monitoring. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Justice Reactivates Public Energy Authority, Appoints New Members” • Governor Jim Justice reactivated the West Virginia Public Energy Authority, which has been inactive for ten years, and appointed new members. The body has the authority, among other powers, of issuing bonds to build coal or natural gas power plants. [WV MetroNews]

Mountaintop removal mining (iLoveMountains.org, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Bipartisan Bill Leaves Out Key Climate, Clean Energy Steps; Upgrade To Power Grid Left Out” • The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill headed for a Senate vote falls far short of the president’s pledge to transform from an economy powered by fossil-fuels into one that is clean-burning and free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. [Houston Chronicle]

¶ “Community Choice Clean Energy Coming To Santa Barbara South Coast In October” • Through community choice, clean energy is coming to the Santa Barbara South Coast this fall to help meet the goal of 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030. Customers will be able to choose between various electricity services for the first time. [Noozhawk.com]

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August 7 Energy News

August 7, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Signs That Gulf Stream Is At Risk Of Collapse” • Climate scientists have detected indications that the Gulf Stream might collapse, one of the most important potential tipping points in the climate crisis. Researchers found the currents had “an almost complete loss of stability over the last century.” They are at their slowest of at least 1,600 years. [The Guardian]

Gulf Stream and related currents (RedAndr, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Study Reveals An Increase In The Frequency Of Nuclear Power Outages Caused By Climate Change” • A paper published in Nature Energy explored the outages at nuclear nuclear power plants that were caused by climatic events. It showed that these outages have become increasingly more frequent in the past few decades. [Tech Xplore]

¶ “Lightning No Match For Wind Turbine Blade Protection System” • Lightning protection systems exist for conventional wind turbine blades. But protection was needed for blades made from more easily recycled thermoplastic resin composites, a technology recently developed by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [CleanTechnica]

Lightning simulation test (NREL image)

World:

¶ “Climate Change: New Report Will Highlight ‘Stark Reality’ Of Warming” • UN researchers are set to publish their strongest statement yet on climate change. Due out on August 9, the report that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just compiled will be their first global assessment on the science of global warming since 2013. [BBC]

¶ “Project Symphony: Virtual Power Plant Project To Link Over 500 Homes And Businesses” • The Labor government of Western Australia is moving forward with Project Symphony, a plan to link over 500 homes and businesses equipped with rooftop solar and home batteries in a virtual power plant that manages the flow of electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Community in Western Australia (Calistemon, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “UK Plugin EV Share Almost Doubles To 17.1% In July, With Combustion At Record Low” • The UK, Europe’s third largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicle market share hit 17.1% in July 2021, up from 8.9% in July 2020. Combustion powertrains hit a record low of 51.9%. Overall auto market volume was down over 22%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ReNew Power Signs First ‘Round-The-Clock’ PPA In India” • The clean power outfit ReNew Power, based in India, has signed a power purchase agreement for a round-the-clock electricity supply, the first-of-its-kind in the country. The 25-year PPA is with the Solar Energy Corporation of India, which is owned by the Indian government. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Gabriel Xu, Unsplash)

¶ “Ontario’s Unfunded Nuclear Decommissioning Liability Is In The C$18 to C$27 Billion Range” • Ontario Power Generation operates eighteen ageing nuclear reactors. It has funds of about C$5 billion ($4 billion) for nuclear decommissioning. That is probably C$17.5 less than will be needed, and the reactors are still servicing $19.3 in debts. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “California Hydropower Plant Forced To Shut Down As Water Levels Fall At Lake Oroville” • The Edward Hyatt Power Plant at Lake Oroville, a major California hydroelectric facility, has been forced to shut down due to low water levels for the first time since it opened in 1967, officials said. The state is grappling with an unrelenting drought. [CNN]

Lake Oroville in May (© Frank Schulenburg, CC BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Summer Smoke Might Be The New Normal In Colorado” • Scratchy lungs and scorched earth. The West is not only battling raging wildfires, but poor air quality as well, caused by ash lofted thousands of feet in the air. Hundreds of miles away, that ash is settling in Colorado, something that has become all too familiar to its residents. [CNN]

¶ “Stellantis: First BEV Jeep Coming In 2023, But What Electric Jeep Will We Get?” • A recent Stellantis earnings presentation revealed that Jeep will release its first all-electric vehicle in 2023, and it also revealed various other approximate release dates for Stellantis EVs and PHEVs. Sadly, however, the information is still not very specific. [CleanTechnica]

Jeep Magneto concept (Jeep image)

¶ “Tampa Commits To 100% Clean, Renewable Energy By 2035” • The city council of Tampa, Florida, voted in favor of moving the city to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035. It is the twelfth Florida city to pass such a resolution. This latest passage comes after Governor Ron DeSantis signed prohibitive energy bills into law this summer. [WJCT News

¶ “US Petroleum Consumption Decreased To 25-Year Low In 2020” • In 2020, 18.1 million barrels per day of petroleum products were consumed in the US, a 25-year low. From 2019 to 2020, petroleum consumption decreased in every sector of energy consumption, and it decreased a record 15% in the transportation sector. [CleanTechnica]

US petroleum consumption (EIA image)

¶ “Department Of The Interior Advances Three Solar Projects In California” • In support of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal to address climate change and promote production of renewable energy, the Department of the Interior announced August 6 it is advancing three solar projects on 4,700 acres of public lands in Riverside County, California. [YubaNet]

¶ “466 Groups Urge Biden to Fill FERC Seat With Champion For Environment, Energy Justice ” • 466 environmental and energy justice, racial justice, faith, and youth organizations from all across the US sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to appoint a nominee to FERC who will champion environmental and energy justice. [Center for Biological Diversity]

Have an amusingly consequential day.

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August 6 Energy News

August 6, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “What Is The UN Climate Conference In Glasgow And Why Is It So Important?” • COP26 (COP is for Conference of the Parties) is widely seen as crucial if climate change is to be brought under control. In 2015, the countries agreed to try to keep temperature increases “well below” 2°C (3.6°F), but many scientists say efforts have fallen far short. [BBC]

Emissions (Patrick Hendry, Unsplash)

¶ “Why Is The USA Okay Being 5 Years Behind Europe And China On Vehicle Electrification?” • The big EV announcement the Biden administration wanted to make today is that it has got GM, Ford, and Stellantis onboard for a 2030 EV target that, unfortunately, is actually quite lame. In fact, it goes beyond being just disappointing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “You’ve Got $30 Billion To Spend And A Climate Crisis. Nuclear Or Solar?” • As solar and energy storage professionals, we must be conscious of the limitations of our technologies. So to compare the cost and abilities of solar power with those of nuclear must be done carefully. It turns out that a solar power wins. Hands down. [pv magazine USA]

Nuclear power plant (Viktor Kiryanov, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Get serious: Eight Technologies That Could Eliminate Nearly All Emissions By 2035” • A report from California think tank RethinkX says accelerating eight existing technologies across renewable energy, electric transport, and lab-grown food can do the heavy lifting on climate action and cut greenhouse emissions by 90% within fifteen years. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Futuristic Farmers Deploy Solar Power To Farm For Microbes” • Ambient air carbon capture has come in for ridicule over the years, but its fans finally have something to cheer about. Applied to farming, carbon can be plucked from the air to boost crop yields. All that’s needed is an assist from solar power and some other equipment. [CleanTechnica]

Carbon capture for agriculture (Göttingen University)

World:

¶ “Europe Aims To Kill Gasoline And Diesel Cars By 2035” • The EU has announced plans to end the sale of polluting vehicles by 2035, an ambitious goal that would put even hybrid cars on the endangered species list and usher in a rapid and dramatic shift to fully electric models. The EU is also reducing average emissions of new cars by 55% by 2030. [CNN]

¶ “The Search For The World’s Largest Methane Sources” • In the past, huge plumes of potent greenhouse gas released in Siberia by Russian petroleum operations last year might have gone unnoticed. But armed with powerful new imaging technology, a methane-hunting satellite sniffed out the emissions and tracked them to their sources. [BBC]

Methane seen from space (Nasa/JPL-Caltech image)

¶ “Australian Miners Line Up For A Slice Of The EV Pie” • Just two days ago, BHP Nickel West asset president Eddy Haegel let known at the annual Diggers and Dealers conference that BHP expected EVs to achieve global penetration of 25% by 2030. This is much earlier than many in the conservative camp anticipated. BHP is getting ready for change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Portugal Exceeds Renewable Energy Target” • Portugal’s Renewable Energy in Gross Final Consumption in 2020 stood at 34.1%. This exceeds the 31.0% target that was set in accordance with EU Directive 2009/28/EC, according to an article from the ADENE Energy Observatory, “Portugal and the energy targets for 2020.” [The Portugal News]

Lisbon (Vita Marija Murenaite, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “California Gold Rush Town Destroyed By State’s Largest Wildfire” • The largest wildfire burning in California, known as the Dixie Fire, has destroyed nearly all of the historic Gold Rush town of Greenville. The estimated 800 residents of the northern California community were told to evacuate before the blaze tore through the downtown area. [BBC]

¶ “Biden Announces New Emissions Standards, Target That 50% Of Vehicles Sold In Us By 2030 Are Electric” • President Joe Biden unveiled another component of his administration’s plan to fight the climate crisis, announcing a new target that half of vehicles sold in the country by 2030 will be battery electric, fuel-cell electric, or plug-in hybrid. [CNN]

Electric Jeep (Stellantis image)

¶ “Nissan Slashes Price Of Base LEAF To $28,375 And Offers $89/Month Lease Plan” • The base Nissan Leaf, with an EPA range of 149 miles, is now available for just $28,375, including the $975 destination charge, according to Green Car Reports. With a $7,500 federal tax credit, the cost would be $20,875. And it can be leased for $89 a month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “McDonalds and Ebay” • McDonald’s and eBay have signed power purchase agreements to source electricity for their US operations from a $300 million solar farm that Lightsource bp is developing. The 345-MW solar project is predicted to become Louisiana’s largest. It is big enough to provide power for 59,000 area homes. [Energy Live News]

McDonald’s (Third Serving, Unsplash)

¶ “Mars Announces Plans for 100% Renewable Electricity for its 2,000 Veterinary Hospitals in US” • Mars, Inc has announced a power-purchase agreement with Apex Clean Energy to provide renewable energy to cover more than 100% of the electricity used by its 2,000 veterinary hospitals in the US. Mars needed more electricity to cover business growth. [WebWire]

¶ “Ohio AG seeks to add former executives, regulator to lawsuit” • Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost asked a judge in Columbus to add two former FirstEnergy Corp executives and the former chair of the Ohio utilities commission as defendants in a state racketeering lawsuit for their alleged roles in pushing a tainted energy bill in 2019. [Westport News]

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August 5 Energy News

August 5, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Sturgeon Handed Huge Independence Boost As Scotland Can Power Itself ‘Without Westminster'” • Nicola Sturgeon has been handed a huge boost to her independence bid as an expert in energy politics has told Express.co.uk that Scotland would be able to run itself on renewable energy “without Westminster support.” [Daily Express]

Wind turbines in Scotland (John Allan, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “We The Power: How Community Energy Can Free People And Help The Planet” • “We the Power” includes a feature-length documentary shining a light on the citizen-led renewable community energy movement across Europe. It was directed by David Garrett Byars, from the multi-award winning Patagonia film Public Trust. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solarflux FOCUS Parabolic Dish Concentrator Converts 72% Of Solar Energy Into Usable Heat” • Solarflux, a company developing parabolic dish concentrator technology, produced the FOCUS parabolic dish concentrator, which converts 72% of the solar energy it gets into usable heat, according to an independent report. [CleanTechnica]

Solarflux FOCUS parabolic dish concentrator (Solarflux image)

¶ “The Waste Product Which Could Help Mitigate Climate Change” • Visiting Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at University of New South Wales Science, Stephen Joseph, says the study published in GCB Bioenergy provides strong evidence that biochar can contribute to climate change mitigation. [ScienceDaily]

¶ “Building Blocks For The Future We Need” • Miscibility Gap Alloys are capable of storing a huge amount of energy as heat. They are 10–100 times more conductive than other currently available materials. Heated by intermittent renewables, they can provide baseload electricity to the grid. MGA blocks can store energy for up to a week. [CleanTechnica]

MGA Thermal bricks (photo via University of Newcastle)

¶ “Farm Pesticides Killing More Bees – Study” • Agricultural pesticides sold to farmers ready-mixed into “cocktails” can kill twice as many bees, according to an analysis of 90 studies. Each measured the impact of environmental stresses such as poor nutrition and pesticides. They showed that combinations of stresses affect pollinators. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Study: Floods Are Getting Worse, And The Number Of People Exposed Is 10 Times Higher Than Previously Thought” • Climate change is making extreme flooding worse. A study published in the journal Nature concluded the population exposed to those floods since 2000 is 10 times higher than previous estimates, as more people migrate into flood-prone areas. [CNN]

Flooded Venice (Nastya Dulhiier, Unsplash)

¶ “Volvo Focuses On Software-Based Cars For Full Future Lineup (100% Electric, Of Course)” • Volvo Cars aims to be one of the quickest legacy automakers to transition to 100% electric vehicle sales. Within 4 years, in 2025 if not sooner, Volvo Cars expects 50% of its sales to be sales of fully electric vehicles. By 2030, the commitment is 100% electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ilmatar To Construct 216-MW Finnish Wind Giant” • Finnish renewables company Ilmatar Energy reached a final investment decision on the 216-MW Alajarvi wind farm, with construction due to start in October 2021. The project is in central Finland and will have 36 wind turbines. Commercial operation is set to begin at the end of 2023. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Ilmatar Energy image)

US:

¶ “Pro-Fossil Fuel Facebook Ads Were Viewed 431 Million Times – In One Year” • Big Oil is strategically using Facebook to blitz Americans with a steady stream of messages designed to delay the extinction of fossil fuel use, according to new research. Such ads were seen on Facebook’s US platforms 431 million times in 2020 alone. [CNN]

¶ “California Regulators Vote To Restrict Water Access For Thousands Of Farmers Amid Severe Drought” • The California State Water Board unanimously agreed to issue an emergency order that bans some farmers from diverting water from rivers and streams in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river watersheds to irrigate their crops. [CNN]

San Luis Reservoir (Fredrick Lee, Unsplash)

¶ “Green Mountain Energy Applies To Enter Arizona’s Electricity Market, Offers 100% Renewable Energy” • Residents of Arizona could soon be able to choose 100% renewable energy for their homes and businesses. Green Mountain Energy submitted its application to the Arizona Corporation Commission to provide retail electric services. [Arizona Daily Star]

¶ “Oshkosh Delivers USA’s First Electric Fire Truck” • Oshkosh Corporation announced that it is working to get electric fire trucks into fire stations across the US, starting with the City of Madison Fire Department in Wisconsin. It is also offering electric trucks for other emergency vehicle services. The trucks are being built on a new “Volterra” platform. [CleanTechnica]

Electric fire truck (Photo courtesy of Oshkosh Corporation)

¶ “Ørsted signs US renewables offtake with Royal DSM” • Ørsted has signed a power purchase agreement with materials and nutrition multinational Royal DSM. The PPA covers the output from a solar PV farm project Ørsted is developing in Texas as part of its plan to achieve a greenhouse gas reduction of 50% by 2030, compared to base year 2016. [reNEWS]

¶ “Meet The New Yorkers Mapping The City’s Heat Islands” • For the fourth year in a row, NOAA has funded collaborations of educational insitutions with scientists in the Urban Heat Island Mapping Campaigns program. The program has been returning data that shows temperature divisions within cities, with some neighborhoods at high risk. [Scientific American]

Have a stunningly superior day.

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August 4 Energy News

August 4, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “The US Infrastructure Bill: Is Half A Loaf Better Than None?” • President Biden proposed spending $15 billion to install 500,000 EV charging points. In the draft infrastructure bill, that proposal has been cut in half. With similar cuts elsewhere in the bill, the odds are stacked against doing the hard work that will be needed to address climate change effectively. [CleanTechnica]

Washington, DC (Jorge Alcala, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Italy’s EV Market More Than Quadrupled In The First Half Of 2021!” • With the effects of the pandemic fading away, electric mobility is booming in Italy. The overall car market is up 51.6% year on year, but electrified powertrains are the real winners. Fully electric vehicle sales are at 30,384 in the first half of 2021, up from 9,959 units last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norway At 84.7% Plugin EV Share In July – Mustang Mach-E Bestseller” • Norway, the world’s leading country in the electric transport revolution, saw plugin electric vehicles take 84.7% of new auto sales in July 2021, up from 68.4% in July 2020. Diesels fell to 4.1%, and petrols were at 4.3%. The Ford Mustang Mach-E was July’s top seller. [CleanTechnica]

Bergen, Norway (Ignacio Ceballos, Unsplash)

¶ “Simply Blue Signs MOU Over 200-MW Scottish Floater” • Simply Blue Energy and Subsea 7 have signed a memorandum of understanding with ERM for the potential use of the ERM Dolphyn hydrogen technology at the 200-MW Salamander floating wind farm off Scotland. The project is working closely with Scotland Gas Networks. [reNEWS]

¶ “DHL Express Is Buying Electric Cargo Planes From Eviation” • DHL Express, the world’s leading express service provider, has agreed to purchase 12 Alice electric cargo planes from Eviation for use in the US. They will be the world’s first electric air freight network. Eviation expects to deliver the electric aircraft to DHL Express in 2024. [CleanTechnica]

DHL Alice electric cargo plane (Image courtesy of DHL)

¶ “India’s ReNew Power Selects Siemens Gamesa For 322-MW Wind Project” • Global energy company Siemens Gamesa was chosen by Indian renewable energy company ReNew Power to supply turbines for a 322-MW wind energy project. Siemens Gamesa will manufacturer the 180 turbines in India and supply them as of 2022. [Power Engineering International]

Australia:

¶ “The Northern Territory Of Australia Takes Tentative Solar And EV Steps Forward ” • The Northern Territory is implementing a plan to support the introduction of EVs. The government will charge reduced registration and stamp duty fees for EVs, give grants for many EV chargers, and facilitate the installation of more EV charging stations. [CleanTechnica]

Uluru, NT (Simon Maisch, Unsplash)

¶ “Truckies Going Electric In Australia” • Two entrepreneurs are building Janus Electric, an amazing business converting diesel trucks to electric in Australia. The conversions’ many benefits include reductions in noise, vibration, and fumes. Janus expects to have its first commercially available electric vehicles on the road next year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Gold Fields Eyes Renewables At St Ives” • Gold miner Gold Fields is looking at options to incorporate renewable energy at its St Ives gold project, in Western Australia. Gold Fields executive VP for Australia said the company is looking to build on the $110 million already invested in renewable energy and battery storage at its Australian mines. [Mining Weekly]

Battery storage facility

US:

¶ “Bipartisan $1 Trillion Senate Infrastructure Bill Focuses On Nuclear, Carbon Capture, Transmission” • The Infrastructure Bill would invest billions of dollars in transmission and power grid infrastructure, new advanced nuclear plants, current nuclear facilities, EV infrastructure, carbon capture, and other clean energy resources. [Utility Dive] (Big disappointment – ghh) 

¶ “Sue The Bastards! Boulder County Wants Exxon And Suncor To Pay For Climate Related Losses” • Boulder County brought suit in Colorado state court against ExxonMobil and Suncor, a Canadian company with its US headquarters in the state. The suit seeks to require the two companies to pay their fair share to deal with the problems they created. [CleanTechnica]

Wildfire in Boulder County (Malachi Brooks, Unsplash)

¶ “Federal Stimulus Could Boost New Mexico Renewable Energy, Create Jobs, Study Says” • Advanced Energy Economy, a national renewable energy trade association, estimated in a report that federal stimulus investments of $20 billion in renewables could add $117 billion to New Mexico’s GDP while saving $6 billion per year in energy costs. [Carlsbad Current-Argus]

¶ “New York Offshore Staging Post Progresses” • New York State put in an application for the US Department of Transportation’s Port Infrastructure Development Grant Program to support construction of Arthur Kill Terminal in Staten Island. AKT will be an offshore wind staging and assembly port built on a 32-acre undeveloped site. [reNEWS]

Rendering of Arthur Kill Terminal (Atlantic Offshore Terminals)

¶ “Ørsted Completes 367-MW Texan Project” • Ørsted has completed the 367-MW Western Trail wind farm in Wilbarger and Baylor Counties, Texas, its largest onshore project to date. It has a set of PPAs for most of the electricity. The project brings Ørsted’s total onshore capacity to over 2.8 GW of wind, solar, and battery storage in operation. [reNEWS]

¶ “As Energy Talks Crumble, Some Eye Standalone Nuclear Deal” • With the Dresden and Byron Exelon nuclear plants slated to close because of a lack of statehouse action on a comprehensive energy bill, some members of the Illinois legislature are working on to keep the plants open. They are looking in new directions to keep the plants operating. [The Center Square]

Have a simply glorious day.

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August 3 Energy News

August 3, 2021

World:

¶ “‘It’s Biblical’ – Climate Fueled Destruction Circles The Globe” • The drought, heat, and fires in the Western US and the heavy rain and flooding seen elsewhere in the country are parts of a pattern that is seen worldwide. Wildfires are hitting Italy, Greece, and Turkey, while monsoon rains are causing flooding in India. “Welcome to global warming!” [CleanTechnica]

Howe Ridge Fire, Glacier National Park (Photo courtesy of NPS)

¶ “Reach For The Sun – New Report From Carbon Tracker” • A report from Carbon Tracker uses a number of colorful charts to make the point that the majority of new global generating power will be wind and solar. The authors predict a leapfrog effect in countries where there is no developed power grid. People who need power will install solar panels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Masdar Joint Venture Starts Construction On Indonesia’s First Utility-Scale Floating Solar Power Plant” • PT PJBI, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company PT PLN, and the leading renewable energy company Masdar, announced that they reached financial close on the Cirata Floating Photovoltaic Power Plant project and it is under construction. [WAM EN]

Cirata Floating Photovoltaic Power Plant (Masdar)

¶ “Serbia In Talks With UGT Renewables On 1 GW Of Solar Power Plant Projects” • Serbia hopes to sign a contract soon with Chicago-based UGT Renewables for installation of a total of 1 GW of PV systems, President Aleksandar Vučić said. CFO Peter Goodall of UGT Renewables said domestic construction firms would be involved. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Australia:

¶ “Queensland’s Ambitious Actions To Tackle Climate Change” • Queensland, the Sunshine State, set a target of 50% renewable electricity by 2030. RenewEconomy’s live feed indicates that as of 12 noon, the state is living up to its nickname, with 30% of its electricity coming from the sun. And wind turbines are coming to balance the nighttime load. [CleanTechnica]

Vestas wind turbines in Australia (Vestas Wind Systems A/S)

¶ “New Projects To Accelerate Victoria’s Renewable Energy Zones” • Victoria’s Labor Government announced six new major energy projects to prepare the grid for the unprecedented load of renewable energy projects in the pipeline. The first projects of the $540 million Renewable Energy Zones will make it easier for new projects to connect to the grid. [Mirage News]

¶ “Vestas Bags 58-MW Oz Turbine Order” • Vestas has secured a 58-MW turbine deal for a wind project in New South Wales. Crookwell 3 wind farm, under development by Global Power Generation, a subsidiary of Naturgy Group, will feature 16 V126 3.45-MW wind turbines in 3.6-MW operating mode. Vestas will service the turbines for 15 years. [reNEWS]

Vestas turbines (Vestas image)

¶ “Australia Expands Renewable Funding To Hydrogen, CCS” • The mandate of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has been expanded to finance hydrogen projects, energy storage, low carbon materials, including aluminium and steel, carbon capture and storage, and new measurement technologies for healthier soils, the Australian energy minister said. [Argus Media]

US:

¶ “Tesla To Make Its First Texas-Built Test Model Y Next Week, One Month Ahead Of Giga Berlin” • A source working on Tesla’s Giga Texas site with knowledge of its construction timelines let out some interesting news. Tesla will build its first full test Model Y at Giga Texas next week. As a test, it will be fully operational but not street legal. [CleanTechnica]

Gigafactory Berlin (Tesla courtesy image)

¶ “NREL Software Is Assisting Maui In 100% Solar And Wind Operations Goal” • Maui will not wait for 2045 to meet Hawaii’s clean energy goals. The world’s first interconnected grid system to run with 100% wind and solar PV power on an instantaneous basis is likely to be built on Maui. It is to have over 175 MW of new solar-storage hybrid plants by 2024. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Organized Labor Declares Impasse With Environmental Groups Over Clean Energy Overhaul” • A coalition of influential labor unions says negotiations with environmental groups over a massive new clean energy proposal have reached impasse, and is asking Gov JB Pritzker and lawmakers to step back into talks to broker a compromise. [NPR Illinois]

Power plant (RL Boston, CWLP, Springfield, Illinois)

¶ “Misinformation Thwarting Indiana’s Clean Energy Initiatives” • Fossil fuels have supplied most electric generation in Indiana for decades. Progress has not been easy for solar and wind energy suppliers in Indiana as proposed projects have faced opposition from concerned local citizens and groups with ties to the fossil fuel industry. [Indiana Environmental Reporter]

¶ “Report Finds Nearly 58% Of Electricity In Iowa Last Year From Renewable Sources” • A report from the American Clean Power Association shows Iowa leads the nation in the percentage of electricity generated by renewable sources. Nearly 58% of the electricity generated in Iowa in 2020 came from wind turbines and solar panels. [Radio Iowa]

Wind turbines in Iowa (Voice of America, public domain)

¶ “AES To Buy 250-MW Indiana Solar Project” • AES Indiana announced plans to acquire the 250-MW Petersburg solar plus storage facility in the US state of Indiana from NextEra Energy Resources for an undisclosed price. The project, in Pike county, will have 180 MWh of storage capacity. It is expected to be operational by May, 2024, if approved. [reNEWS]

¶ “Green light For $2.3 Billion Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Site In Texas” • NRC staff recommended granting a license for a spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Texas. The NRC issued its final environmental impact statement on the application by Interim Storage Partners LLC. The license would allow up to 44,000 tons to be stored for 40 years. [Power Engineering International]

Have an admirably enchanting day.

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August 2 Energy News

August 2, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Finding Answers To The World’s Drinking Water Crisis” • We are facing a water crisis. Climate change, overpopulation, and global conflict are just some of the factors devastating the water supply in many areas around the world. It means that two billion people – one-quarter of the human population – are without access to safe drinking water. [BBC]

Water, but is it safe? (Silas Baisch, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla’s Autopilot Saves Lives – Period. Just Ask This Drunk Driver” • One new video may not be on the front page for most mainstream media news sites, because it doesn’t fit the narrative of killer cars driving themselves and killing people. But the clip, which was all over Twitter this week, reminds us how helpful Tesla Autopilot can be. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Iran Water: What’s Causing The Shortages?” • Iran’s water supplies are shrinking. It has frequent droughts and faces the prospect of more extreme conditions brought about by climate change. Hotter and drier weather will have a greater impact on hydropower generation, which has already led to severe power disruptions this summer in Iran. [BBC]

Kavir National Park, Iran (mostafa meraji, Unsplash)

¶ “Africa’s Most Populous City Is Battling Floods And Rising Seas. It May Soon Be Unlivable, Experts Warn” • Residents of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, are used to the yearly floods that engulf coastal areas during the months of March to November. But the floods are getting worse. Lagos, with 24 million people, may become uninhabitable this century. [CNN]

¶ “Pathfinder Gets The Nod For Burgate Solar” • UK developer Pathfinder Clean Energy has secured planning permission for its 21-MW Burgate solar farm near Norwich. The solar farm will provide enough power for the equivalent of 6800 UK households and will reduce CO₂ emissions by 4900 tonnes annually, the company said. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (PACE image)

¶ “Tesla Battery Supplier CATL Spawning Billionaires As It Becomes China’s 3rd Largest Company” • Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology is having a very good year. Its share price is up 167% over the past 12 months, making it the third-largest business listed in mainland China, according to the Wall Street Journal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Genesis Energy And Tilt Renewables Partner In 75-MW Northland Wind Farm” • Genesis Energy and Tilt Renewables signed a 20-year electricity off-take agreement for a planned new 75-MW wind farm in New Zealand. The Kaiwaikawe Wind farm will cut carbon emissions from Genesis’ thermal generation by an estimated 180,000 tonnes a year. [NZ Herald]

Proposed wind farm (Image supplied)

¶ “Woolworths To Go All In On Renewables By 2030” • Retailer Woolworths has set its sights on using 100% renewable energy by 2030. In a statement, the company says in line with its vision to be one of the world’s most responsible retailers, Woolworths is proud to announce its next set of ambitious Good Business Journey sustainability goals. [ITWeb]

¶ “Pacifico Tees Off At 121-MW PV Park In Japan” • Japanese developer Pacifico Energy began construction of a 121-MW solar farm in Japan. The project is in Hyogo prefecture and will be primarily constructed on the site of a golf course. The EPC contractor is Juwi Shizen Energy. Commercial operations are expected to start in 2023. [reNEWS]

Solar project (Pacifico Energy image)

¶ “EIB To Expand Spain’s Renewables Capacity With Seven New Projects” • Spanish renewable energy company Solaria is set to expand its portfolio of solar energy capacity using €54 million of European Investment Bank funding. The money will enable Solaria to develop seven solar PV projects with a total capacity of 261.05 MW. [Power Engineering International]

US:

¶ “Innergex Commissions 226-MW US Wind Park, Concludes Tax Equity Funding” • Innergex Renewable Energy Inc has announced that the 225.6-MW Griffin Trail wind farm in north Texas has been fully commissioned and that its tax equity funding has been concluded. The plant has a total of 80 GE turbines installed. [Renewables Now]

Flat Top wind park in central Texas (Innergex image)

¶ “DeWine Says Ohio Wants To Be A Leader In Renewable Energy” • A recent bill empowered local county commissioners in Ohio to kill wind or solar projects early in development. Gov Mike DeWine, who signed the bill that adds more hurdles to developing such projects, says he hopes Ohio will still become a leader in renewable energy. [Ohio News Time]

¶ “Social Cost Of Methane Changes The Equation For Colorado Utility Policy” • As a growing list of states pass laws aimed at curbing carbon emissions, Colorado has widened its scope, taking the seminal step of requiring state officials to consider the social cost of methane, the primary constituent of natural gas, in regulatory decisions. [Energy News Network]

Colorado (Katie Moum, Unsplash)

¶ “New York City Public Advocate Supports Catskills Renewable Connector” • New York City Public advocate Jumaane Williams announced his support for the Catskills Renewable Connector, a a 115-mile, 1,200-MW project proposed by Rise Light & Power that would deliver renewable energy from upstate to homes and businesses downstate. [Mid Hudson News]

¶ “Nuclear Power Could Get Lifeline In Senate Infrastructure Bill” • Struggling nuclear power reactors could get a $6-billion lifeline in the bipartisan infrastructure bill being written in the US Senate, according to a draft obtained by Bloomberg News. The text of the bill hasn’t been released and changes could still be made before its release. [Mining Weekly]

Have a mystifyingly delightful day.

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August 1 Energy News

August 1, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Enbridge’s Pipeline 3 Threatens An Endangered Species – Contact The EPA” • The drinking water of people who live along the Mississippi River is put into danger by Enbridge’s Pipeline 3. There are many other reasons to oppose it. One, however, is the survival of a rare mussel species. And that gives us something we can do about it. [CleanTechnica]

Higgens eye pearly mussel (USFWS Midwest Region)

¶ “Australia’s Response To ‘Duty Of Care’ Judgement: We Have A Fossil-Fuel Heart” • A High Court Judge found that the Federal Environment Minister has a duty of care for the future of the country’s children. Sadly, the minister’s response is to appeal, and the response of big business is to ask the federal parliament to support the affected industries. [CleanTechnica]

 

¶ “Recommended Reading: “The Future We Choose”” • There are a number of great books about the future that turn out to be depressing. But there is also The Future We Choose (2020) by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac. This is a book full of hope, with an action plan to save the future. It reminds us that “the Future is not yet written.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 And Model Y Take #1 And #2 In World Record Month For Electric Vehicle Sales!” • Last month, global plugin vehicle registrations were up an impressive 153% compared to June 2020, scoring a record 583,000 units (or 8.7% share of the overall auto market). That does not count the 700,000-plus hybrids registered. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tata Power-DDL Among The First Utilities In The Country To Meet 100% Renewable Purchase Obligation Compliance” • Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited, the electric power utility for over 7 million in the northern and and northwestern parts of Delhi, became the first utility in Delhi to meet 100% Renewable Purchase Compliance. [EquityBulls.com]

Delhi (Anish Kumar, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Project To Extract Water From Air At Masdar City” • The first project to produce commercial volumes of water from a sustainable source will launch this month in Abu Dhabi. The pilot project will be run by AQUOVUM, based in the US, in partnership with Masdar and Khalifa University of Science and Technology. [Khaleej Times]

¶ “50% Cheaper To Generate From Renewable Energy, According To New Analysis” • According to analysis by energy think tank Ember, the cost of electricity from a power plant using fossil fuels is about twice the cost of electricity from a renewable energy source. And the cost of energy from fossil fuels is rising as renewables get cheaper. [Texas News Today]

Solar PV (Biel Morro, Unsplash)

¶ “Nuclear White Paper Warns Against Complacency” • Japan’s annual nuclear energy report has warned against complacency that could set in at nuclear plant operators once they clear government screening requirements. This year’s white paper on nuclear energy points to mounting challenges faced by operators of nuclear facilities in the country. [NHK]

US:

¶ “The Two Largest Wildfires In The US” • America’s two largest active wildfires, the Dixie Fire in California and the Bootleg Fire in Oregon, have burned land nearly the size of New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago combined, as drought and extreme heat continue to make matters worse for those fighting the massive fires in the West. [CNN]

Fire fighters (Garreth Paul, Unsplash)

¶ “NIMBYism Puts The Kibosh On America’s Largest Solar Power Plant” • Several years ago, a plan spearheaded by then Senator Harry Reid was put forward to build Battle Born Solar Project, the largest solar power plant in the US, on Mormon Mesa. Even though the project would be sited out of sight of nearby towns, it was stopped by NIMBYs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Stanford University Creates New School For Study Of Climate And Sustainability” • Stanford University announced that it was forming a new school focused on climate and sustainability. The school, which will absorb several of the university’s existing units and departments and add others in time, will begin operations in the fall of 2022. [Forbes]

Have an easily splendid day.

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July 31 Energy News

July 31, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Confession Time: I Might Be In Love With The Xbus” • The world is rapidly filling up with big, tough, capable electric trucks that are ready to rough-and-tumble their way through a post-apocalyptic landscape. The Xbus, meanwhile, says something different. Like an angry koala, it seems to say, “I’m sensitive – but, also: fight me.” [CleanTechnica]

Xbus (Image courtesy of Xbus)

¶ “Toyota Actively Lobbying To Slow Down EV Revolution” • We learned in June that Toyota was the largest corporate contributor to members of Congress who voted against certifying the result of the last election. Now, we see in the New York Times that Toyota is lobbying hard to sidetrack President Biden’s electric car and climate change initiatives. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “We Are Living Through A New, Horrible Phase Of Climate Change” • In the past four weeks alone, wildfires virtually burnt a Canadian village off the map after it shattered the national record with heat of 49.6°C (121°F). Floodwaters tore through German towns like a tsunami, tossing cars like corks. This was predicted. More is coming. [CNA]

Climate crime scene (Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona, Unsplash)

¶ “Fact Check: Posts Falsely Claim 95% Of Energy For Charging Electric Cars Comes From Coal” • Social media users are using an outdated and misleading video to claim automaker General Motors said 95% of energy for charging electric cars comes from coal. The video is based on a misleading statement founded on obsolete information, but it has spread. [USA Today]

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Fort Renewable’ Shows Benefits Of Batteries And Microgrids For Military And Beyond” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Flatirons Campus might feel familiar to military service members. Here at “Fort Renewable,” military Quonset huts are dispersed among energy assets like solar PVs and battery storage, to test microgrids. [CleanTechnica]

Replicated military microgrid environments (NREL image)

¶ “Hydrogen Produced Using Renewables Will Be Able To Travel Through Existing Gas Pipelines, Snam CEO Says” • The CEO of Italian infrastructure giant Snam outlined a vision for the future of hydrogen. He said Snam had tested different percentages of blending – including as much as 100% hydrogen – in existing pipes, and it had worked. [CNBC]

World:

¶ “Tesla Megapack Battery Caught On Fire During Neoen’s Testing, No One Injured” • For the first time, a Tesla Megapack caught on fire. It was at the Victoria Big Battery in Moorabool, Victoria. News7 Melbourne shared images of one Megapack battery unit that was ablaze. It looks like two battery units were affected. The fire’s cause is still unknown. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Megapack

¶ “CI NMF Inks Over $200 Million Investment Pact With Amp Energy” • Copenhagen Infrastructure New Markets Fund agreed with Amp Energy India Private Ltd on joint equity investment of over $200 million in renewables. The agreement enables joint equity investments of over $200 million in renewable energy projects in India. [Free Press Journal]

¶ “TC Energy To Use Green Power To Run North American Energy Pipelines” • TC Energy Corp could spend billions of dollars on its plans to lower emissions by switching to renewable energy to run its huge network of US and Canadian oil and gas pipelines. Based in Calgary, TC Energy operates nearly 100,000 kilometres (62,140 miles) of pipelines. [Reuters]

Pipeline (Darya Jum, Unsplash)

¶ “Mainstream Renewable Power And Siemens Team Up For Supply Chain Focussed ScotWind Bid” • Mainstream Renewable Power, the Irish green energy developer, and Siemens Financial Services joined forces to bid for acreage in Scottish waters. They bid together in the landmark ScotWind leasing round, which is now closed to applicants. [Energy Voice]

¶ “ReneSola Teams Up With UK Partner On Italian PV” • Emeren is partnering with ReneSola to develop ground-mounted solar farms in Italy totaling 110 MW. The partners said the projects are in a broad range of sizes. Their goal is to have all 110 MW shovel-ready by 2022. The two companies hope to further strengthen their presence in the Italian market. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

¶ “Nuclear Power Plant In China Has Damaged Fuel Rods And Is Shutting Down” • A nuclear plant in China was shut down after its fuel rods suffered damage, according to an initial report from the China-based news source CGTN. Located in Taishan, the reactor is the first-of-its-kind, and came after the nation had acknowledged the issue. [Interesting Engineering]

US:

¶ “Duke Energy Aims For 16,000 MW Of Renewables By 2025” • Duke Energy announced that it owns, operates, or purchases more than 10,000 MW of solar and wind energy throughout the US from its regulated and nonregulated businesses. Duke Energy has set a goal of reaching 16,000 MW of renewables by 2025 and 47,000 MW by 2050. [GreentechLead]

Wind turbines (Dan Meyers, Unsplash)

¶ “The Dixie Fire Reignites Trauma For People Who Survived California’s Deadliest Wildfire In History” • The Dixie Fire is California’s largest active wildfire, having burned more than 240,000 acres of land over the course of two weeks. More than 7,800 residents across Butte and Plumas counties have been ordered to evacuate. [CNN]

¶ “The Infrastructure Bill’s $7.5 Billion For EV Charging Stations Can Do A Lot” • While small in comparison to the other big ticket items, latest version of an infrastructure bill allocates $7.5 billion for the construction of new charging stations. Even though it is half of what was in the original budget, it is enough for 250,000 EV charging stations. [CleanTechnica]

Have a tolerably exquisite day.

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July 30 Energy News

July 30, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Tesla’s Superior Engineering Cuts Costs, Giving Company New Option To Stoke Demand” • Tesla’s second-quarter earnings call confirms it is on track to continue to expand production like never seen before in the automotive market. Tesla will need to reduce pricing and pull other levers to sell the massive volume of cars it plans to make next year. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Stefan Lehner, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Fungus And Bacteria Tackling Plastic Waste” • Some types of plastic, such as PET (polyethylene terephthalate) which is widely used for drinks bottles, are hard to recycle by traditional means. So might biological methods be the answer? A number of research programs are working on biological solutions, and some are finding success. [BBC]

World:

¶ “The Amount Of Greenland Ice That Melted On Tuesday Could Cover Florida In 2 Inches Of Water” • Greenland is experiencing its most significant melting event so far this year, as temperatures in the Arctic surge. On Tuesday, Greenland lost more than 8.5 billion tons of surface mass, according to the Denmark Meteorological Institute. [CNN]

Nuuk, Greenland (Aningaaq Rosing Carlsen, Unsplash)

¶ “Europe’s Q2 Diesel Share Hits Record Low As Plugin Share Doubles” • In Europe, sales of new diesel vehicles fell below 20% for the first time in Q2 2021. The diesel share of new sales fell dramatically to 18.4% in Q2 2021, from 27.9% in Q2 2020. At the same time, plugin electric vehicle share more than doubled year-on-year to 16.9% in Q2. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Superchargers Grew Almost 50% In One Year, Globally” • There are a number of people who would eagerly buy an EV from another company but chose a Tesla because of its network of Supercharges. Now, it’s getting even better. From Q2 2020 to Q2 2021, Tesla’s Supercharger network grew worldwide from 2035 stations to 2966 stations. [CleanTechnica]

Supercharger station (Beat Jau, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Power Projects Overtake Oil & Gas In Middle East” • Countries in the Middle East and North Africa awarded $2.8 billion worth of renewable energy projects in the first half of 2021, compared to not a single contract award for power stations fueled by oil or gas, MEED Insight’s new report Middle East Energy Transition showed. [OilPrice]

¶ “Renewables Dominate UK Power Generation In 2020” • Renewables provided a record 43% of the UK’s electricity in 2020, up from 37% in 2019, according to UK Government statistics. Last year’s increased wind generation meant that for the first time ever, renewable energy sources generated more electricity than fossil fuels. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (SSE Renewables image)

US:

¶ “California And Nevada Officials Are Pleading For More Federal Resources To Tame Wildfires” • The governors of California and Nevada are imploring the US government for more resources to battle the dozens of unrelenting wildfires in the West. Firefighters in the area did get some relief this week, however, thanks to a break in the heat and light rain. [CNN]

¶ “Ford Books 120,000 Reservations For F-150 Lightning” • During its Q2 earnings call on July 28, Ford said it has received more than 120,000 reservations for its electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning. That’s great news for EV advocates but even better news for Ford, because about 75% of the reservations are from new customers. [CleanTechnica]

F-150 Lightning (Ford image, cropped)

¶ “Tesla Installed 85 Megawatts Of Rooftop Solar Power In 2nd Quarter, But That Doesn’t Actually Show Demand” • Last quarter, Tesla installed 85 MW of rooftop solar power in the US. That’s up from a mere 26 MW in Q2 2020. Solar installations were slowed last year by the Covid-19 pandemic, but more than tripling them is a big step up. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Renewable Energy Tops 170 GW” • A record 26 GW of clean energy projects came online in the US last year, bringing the total to over 170 GW, according to a new report from the American Clean Power Association. Combined wind, solar, and battery storage power represent 78% of new power installations in 2020, the report said. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Peter Franken, Unsplash)

¶ “SEC Chair Gensler Says Investors Want Mandatory Disclosure On Climate Risks” • Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler said he wants mandatory disclosure on climate risks, and he wants the agency to develop a rule by the end of the year. His comments came because of requests by a large number of investors. [CNBC]

¶ “US Developer Acquires 180-MW Texas Solar” • Buckeye Partners acquired a 180-MW solar project in Hill County, Texas from renewable energy developer Belltown Power Texas for an undisclosed price. The project, which has site control and an interconnection agreement complete, will enter construction this year. It should be online in December 2022. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (Chelsea, Unsplash)

¶ “New Renewable Energy Program ‘A Complete Game Changer’ For Newark Conservationists” • The tall trees that shade Helga Huntley’s home would make installing solar panels on the roof ineffective. Thanks to a new program from the City of Newark, however, all of her family’s electricity now comes from solar and other renewable energy sources. [Newark Post]

¶ “Georgia Power Discloses More Vogtle Nuclear Delays, Big Extra Costs” • Georgia Power’s parent, Southern Co, announced yet another delay in its completion of the nuclear expansion of Plant Vogtle. The company said its share of the costs increased by nearly half a billion dollars, and this could lead to higher bills for customers. [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Have a spectacularly idyllic day.

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July 29 Energy News

July 29, 2021

Opinion: 

¶ “Extreme Weather Is Upending Lives In The West. ‘You Walk Around With This Vague Sense Of Terror’” • Scientists have long warned that we need to limit greenhouse gas emissions quickly to stop climate change. Now, with climate change clearly here, many in the West say they are frightened by the inescapable heat, explosive wildfires and unrelenting drought. [CNN]

San Francisco (Patrick Perkins, Unsplash)

¶ “Zero Emissions Zones: A Tool To Target Benefits Of Vehicle Electrification To Communities That Need It Most” • To reduce transportation emissions, zero-emission vehicles are crucial. Policies that promote zero emission vehicles sales are important tools to ensure that the transition away from fossil fuels happens as rapidly as possible. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “UK Already Undergoing Disruptive Climate Change” • The latest UK State of the Climate report says the country is already in disruptive climate change. Lead author Mike Kendon, climate information scientist at the UK Met Office, said, “A lot of people think climate change is in the future – but this proves the climate is already changing here in the UK.” [BBC]

Rain (Nick Scheerbart, Unsplash)

¶ “Microgrids In Australia – The Next Big Step” • Australia is a world leader in adapting electrical power grids to renewable energy’s new technologies. Famous for the Hornsdale Power Reserve, the country is now trialing microgrids with smaller batteries in cities (Sydney and Melbourne), isolated country towns, and mining complexes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hywind Scotland To Trial Safe Fishing Around Floating Wind” • Equinor and Scottish Government Directorate Marine Scotland are working to better understand how fishers can safely operate around and within floating offshore wind farms. A survey to be taken at Hywind Scotland in 2022 will test three kinds of fishing gear: creels, fishtraps, and jigging lines. [reNEWS]

Fishing near floating wind turbines (Equinor image)

¶ “Fortescue Future Industries To Explore Potential Green Hydrogen Projects In India” • The Australian company Fortescue Future Industries entered into a framework agreement with JSW Future Energy Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of JSW Energy Ltd, to explore opportunities for joint development of green hydrogen projects in India. [Mirage News]

¶ “WPD Secures PPA For 188-MW Finnish Project” • World Kinect Energy Services has entered into a route-to-market power purchase agreement with WPD for Karhunnevankangas, a wind farm in Finland. The 188-MW project will generate electricity for the Österbotten region of western Finland. It is expected to be completed in 2022. [reNEWS]

Karhunnevankangas foundation work (WPD image)

¶ “Germany Is Behind On Renewable Energy Goals, Despite Major Growth In Wind Turbine Sector” • Germany has built 240 onshore wind turbines with a capacity of 971 MW in 2021. This is strong growth from 2020 and 2019, but it is not enough to meet long-term goals for wind farms. This is clear in a report from Bundesverband WindEnergie. [TheMayor.EU]

¶ “BayWa RE Picks Up Two UK Solar Sites” • JBM Solar has sold two projects with a combined capacity of almost 100 MW to BayWa RE. When finished in 2023, the two developments will have a combined solar capacity of 99.8 MW. One project, Corner Copse, is near Swindon and the other, Scurf Dyke, is north of Hull, in East Riding of Yorkshire. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (BayWa RE image)

US:

¶ “Why Is A Big Oil Company Investing Huge Amounts Of Money In Wyoming Wind?” • TransWest Express announced that it has almost all of the partnerships, permits, and permissions it needs to begin seeking customers for a 732-mile high voltage power line to carry 20,000 GWh per year of wind energy from Wyoming to southern California. [The Guardian]

¶ “Want A Tesla Megapack? Get In Line And Wait Your Turn” • During the Tesla conference call, Elon Musk made clear that the Megapack grid-scale battery storage system is sold out through the end of next year. If you are a utility company or a renewable energy company that wants to add a Tesla Powerpack or two (or a hundred), get in line. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Megapack (Tesla image)

¶ “US DOE Awards $60 Million To Accelerate Advancements In Zero-Emissions Vehicles” • The DOE announced $60 million for 24 research and development projects aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars and light-duty and heavy-duty trucks. The awards support the Biden Administration goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Became Second Most Prevalent US Electricity Source In 2020” • In 2020, renewable energy sources generated a record 834 TWh of electricity, or about 21% of all US electricity. Only natural gas (1,617 TWh) produced more. Renewable sources surpassed both nuclear (790 TWh) and coal (774 TWh) for the first time on record. [CleanTechnica]

Electrical generation by source (EIA image)

¶ “US 30-GW Offshore Wind Target ‘Will Be Missed’” • In the US, offshore wind capacity is expected to hit 21 GW by 2030, missing the White House’s target by 30%, according to a new report from IHS Markit. The report cites bottlenecks in the market and a crucial lack of infrastructure as the main problems in the way of progress. [reNEWS]

¶ “Exelon Set To Decommission Illinois Nuclear Plants” • Exelon Generation filed plans to close its Dresden and Byron nuclear power plants in Illinois. An Exelon spokesman said the company continues to hope that lawmakers will pass legislation to keep the unprofitable plants in operation, but the company must begin the process of closing the plants. [Power Magazine]

Have a basically optimum day.

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July 28 Energy News

July 28, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Appalachia Poised To Be Part Of Shift To Clean Energy” • As federal policymakers design policies to transition and invest in a clean energy economy, it is imperative that Appalachia can rebuild and grow a 21st century sustainable economy that builds shared prosperity. The people of Appalachia need to be at the table, and not on the menu. [CleanTechnica]

Countryside near Chattanooga (David Sager, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “EV Transmissions Are Awesome!” • Upcoming full EV off-road vehicles are going to be awesome. The biggest advantage will be how controllable they are at low RPM. Instead of having to gas-brake-gas-brake over obstacles, you can just use the right amount of power to climb an obstacle smoothly. This advantage is greatly magnified by gear reduction. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Super-Outbreaks Of Fire Thunderstorms Could Change Earth’s Climate, Australian And US Experts Warn” • Fire thunderstorms, which occur in pyrocumulonimbus clouds, not only create their own weather system but may also be powerful enough to actually change the climate, according to scientists from Australia and the US. [ABC]

Pyrocumulus cloud, 2012 (JeremyaGreene, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “SPR Completes 30-MW Halsary For Tesco” • ScottishPower Renewables has completed construction of the 30MW Halsary wind farm in Scotland, which was built specifically to supply electricity to supermarket giant Tesco. The 15-turbine project in Caithness is now generating enough energy for the equivalent of almost 20,000 homes. [reNEWS]

¶ “‘Most Powerful’ Tidal Turbine Starts Generating Electricity Off Orkney” • A tidal-powered turbine, which its makers say is the most powerful in the world, has started to generate electricity via the grid in Orkney. The 680-tonne, 2-MW Orbital O2 has the capacity to meet the annual electricity demand of 2,000 homes for the next 15 years. [BBC]

Transporting the turbine (Orbital Marine Power)

¶ “The German Storage Model: How It Is Helping Stabilize The Grid” • In Germany, 2020 was notable for the production of renewable energy: Wind, solar PV, and other renewable sources overtook fossil fuels in German power production. Maintaining grid stability is easier because over 300,000 German households have battery storage systems. [Down To Earth]

¶ “Yukon Extends And Expands Innovative And Renewable Energy Initiative” • Yukon is “extending and expanding” its Innovative & Renewable Energy Initiative, saying the changes will make the fund more accessible and reduce the territory’s reliance on fossil fuels. Developers may apply for funding for 75% of eligible costs. [Electrical Business Magazine]

Aurora at Whitehorse (naoh cova, Unsplash)

¶ “Egypt Postpones Nuclear Power Plant Amid Tensions With Russia Over Nile Dam” • Egypt announced the postponement of the completion of the El-Dabaa nuclear plant project to 2030 instead of 2028. An official said this disruption was caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but tensions exist between Egypt and Russia over the Nile dam in Ethiopia. [Al-Monitor]

US:

¶ “Latest Heat Wave Prompts Heat And Air Quality Alerts Across The US” • A high pressure ridge expanded over the US bringing a heat wave to much of the central portion of the country. “Around 75% of the US population will see a high above 90°F over the next week, and 32 million people will swelter above 100°F,” said CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen. [CNN]

Sunrise (OpticalNomad, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla’s Record Earnings: ‘There’s Quite A Bit More To Come In 2022,’ Analyst Says” • Tesla beat analysts’ expectations when it reported earnings, posting a profit of $1.1 billion and making a record-setting number of deliveries for the quarter. Nevertheless, one analyst told Yahoo Finance that the electric car company still has more room to grow next year. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Minnesota Becomes A Clean Cars State” • Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan celebrated clean car standards taking effect in Minnesota. The new standards reduce carbon emissions, create good-paying jobs, boost Minnesota’s manufacturing industry, and increase the choices Minnesotans have in purchasing cars. [CleanTechnica]

Downtown Minneapolis (Tom Conway, Unsplash)

¶ “Shell To Buy Inspire Energy Capital, Expanding Renewable Power Business In The US” • Shell New Energies US, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, has signed an agreement to buy 100% of the equity interests of Inspire Energy Capital, a renewable energy residential retailer. Shell’s goal is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050. [The Ritz Herald]

¶ “Duke Starts Up 182-MW Texas Windfarm” • Duke Energy has begun commercial operation of its Maryneal Windpower wind farm in Texas. The 182-MW Maryneal plant, in Nolan County, increases Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions’ US wind capacity to over 3 GW. T-Mobile has a 12-year virtual power purchase agreement for nearly all of its output. [reNEWS]

Duke Energy windfarm (Duke Energy image)

¶ “UC Ranks First Among Colleges And Universities In Green Power Usage” • The University of California ranks No 1 among colleges and universities when it comes to green electricity use, according to the US EPA. Nearly half of UC’s electricity came from renewable energy sources that provide the highest benefit to the environment. [University of California]

¶ “Power deal will bring enough renewable electricity for more than 122,000 homes” • More wind, solar, and battery storage capacity will be made available for customers of California’s Central Coast Community Energy, after the renewables-focused alternative to Pacific Gas and Electric finalized a deal to bolster its portfolio. [Monterey County Weekly]

Have an enjoyably carefree day.

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July 27 Energy News

July 27, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Floods In London Are The Latest Sign Big Cities Aren’t Ready For Climate Change” • When two London hospitals turned non-emergency patients away after getting flooded, it was a reminder that even some of the richest cities are dangerously unprepared for extreme weather. And it is ever more common and more severe because of climate change. [CNN]

Flooded bike in London (Iridescent, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Tesla’s $12 Billion In Revenue Is Accelerating Our Transition To Sustainability” • Tesla’s financial report for Q2 2021 show numbers beyond expectations. They prove Tesla has what it takes to help accelerate society to energy sustainability. We knew its second quarter was going to be pretty impressive. But this is still a positive surprise. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “This Vermont Utility Is Revolutionizing Its Power Grid To Fight Climate Change. Will The Rest Of The Country Follow Suit?” • Green Mountain Power CEO Mari McClure says the utility is transforming its grid. GMP is moving away from large generator plants and long transmission lines, and toward a more decentralized approach. [Time Magazine]

VLS solar array (SayCheeeeeese, placed in the public domain)

World:

¶ “How Much Is The Developing World Getting To Fight Climate Change?” • Rich nations “must deliver now” on long-promised funding to help poorer countries fight climate change, says the President of Cop26, which takes place in Glasgow in November. The developed world pledged $100 billion (£720 billion) a year by 2020, but it has not delivered so far. [BBC]

¶ “NTPC Wins Approval For India’s Largest (4.7 GW!) Solar Park” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy gave a go-ahead to NTPC to set up a 4.7-GW solar power park in Gujarat. Power generated at this park will be used for the production of green hydrogen, the company said. NTPC plans to have 60 GW of renewable capacity by 2032. [CleanTechnica]

Gujarat (Vivek Doshi, Unsplash)

¶ “Cobra, Flotation JV Plans 2.5 GW Off Ireland” • Offshore Wind Ltd, a joint venture between the Spanish company Cobra and the UK’s Flotation Energy, has unveiled plans to develop 2,500 MW of offshore wind off Ireland. OWL plans a 1-GW fixed-bottom development near Dublin and a 1.5-GW floating project off the south east coast of the country. [reNEWS]

¶ “Project Explores Potential Of Ocean Renewable Energy Fuel For Shipping” • A research project will investigate the potential of harnessing offshore wind and marine renewable energy to make zero carbon-hydrogen and ammonia fuels. The University of Strathclyde will lead the multi-disciplinary Ocean Renewable Energy Fuels project. [The Maritime Executive]

Hywind offshore wind project (Statoil)

¶ “ElectroRoute Inks Offtakes For 70 MW Of Irish Wind” • An Irish company, ElectroRoute, entered into two long term power purchase agreements in Northern Ireland for the Evishagaran and Craiggore wind farms, which will bring the total portfolio under management by ElectroRoute to approximately 1500 MW. They are being developed by ERG. [reNEWS]

¶ “Spotlight On French-Scots Floating Wind And Hydrogen Research” • Shared technical and innovation challenges in the supply chain need to be addressed to facilitate research collaborations between Scottish and French organisations working in floating wind and hydrogen, according to a report for the Scottish government. [reNEWS]

Jack-up ship and wind turbine (Scottish Enterprise image)

US:

¶ “EPA To Impose New Limits On Wastewater Pollution From Coal Power Plants” • The EPA announced that it intends to set more stringent standards on water pollution from coal power plants, reinstating regulations that the Trump administration had rolled back. The new rule would affect around 100 coal-fired power plants, an EPA official said. [CNN]

¶ “Lake Powell Hits Lowest Level On Record In Climate Change-Fueled Water Crisis” • Plagued by climate change-fueled drought and increasing demand for water, Lake Powell, the second largest reservoir in the US, has fallen to its lowest level on record since it was first filled more than 50 years ago. As of Sunday, Lake Powell was at just 33% of capacity. [CNN]

Boat ramp at Lake Powell (National Park Service)

¶ “Tesla Profit Surge Driven By Record Car Deliveries” • Tesla has reported surging profits, despite shortages of semiconductor chips and congestion at ports hampering production. Sales rose to $12 billion in the three months to the end of June, up from $6 billion a year ago, when its US factory was shut down. A record 200,000 cars were delivered in the quarter. [BBC]

¶ “Largest US Renewable Developer Plans Transmission, Solar Surge” • The world’s largest renewable developer is eyeing transmission project opportunities as the Biden administration focuses on adding large amounts of wind, solar, and storage to the nation’s grid in the coming decades. President Biden is pushing support for transmission lines. [E&E News]

NextEra solar project (NextEra via Facebook)

¶ “1,000,000 Tesla Powerwalls Per Year, Thinks Elon – He Could Be Right” • CEO Elon Musk indicated in the Tesla Conference call that it is a good idea to build a production line for a million Powerwalls a year – if the battery makers can provide the battery cells. Clearly, living in Texas, Elon realized that Tesla now has a market for batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In 2020, The US Produced The Least CO₂ Emissions From Energy In Nearly 40 Years” • In 2020, as the country responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CO₂ emissions from energy consumption in the US fell to the lowest level since 1983. The 4.6 billion metric tons of CO₂ emitted in 2020 was an 11% decrease from 2019. [CleanTechnica]

Have an outstandingly pleasant day.

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July 26 Energy News

July 26, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Powering Rural Economic Development With Renewables” • Electric cooperatives loom large in conversations about the US energy system’s past, present, and future, despite the fact that they serve only 13% of US electricity load. Importantly, they may have difficulties replacing their aging coal fleets with less costly wind and solar projects. [CleanTechnica]

Transmission line (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

¶ “The Great Toyota Zero-Emissions 2020 Summer Olympics Debacle” • The 2020 Olympics were supposed to showcase the zero emissions talents of the Japanese auto industry, with crowds of people riding in emissions-free vehicles to move seamlessly from place to place. But the hydrogen is not clean and electric buses are not as promised. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alaska Can Lead The US On Renewable Energy” • I challenge lawmakers, both here and in Washington, DC, to recognize the limitations of our system’s traditional energy infrastructure and look to communities like Cordova, Alaska, as examples of what can be achieved if we build a secure, resilient, and cost-effective clean energy base. [Anchorage Daily News]

World:

¶ “Plugin Vehicles Hit 19% Market Share In Europe In June! Tesla Model 3 Has Best Month Ever!” • The European passenger plugin vehicle market continues in the fast lane, with over 237,000 registrations in June and over a million registrations YTD, up 157% year over year. Last month’s plugin vehicle share of the overall auto market was 19%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mercedes Teases EQXX With 1,000 Kilometers Of Range” • A lot of talk today is about efficient powertrains for battery electric cars. Most new EVs have a range of about 250 miles. Some can go 300+ miles without charging. A few can even go 400 miles. But now Mercedes says it is workig on the EQXX, which might have a range of 1,000 km (621 miles). [CleanTechnica]

Imagine a car (Imagination promotion by Mercedes-Benz)

¶ “Action On Climate Change Can Provide A Shot In The Arm For The Global Economy, Economist Says” • Greater investment in technologies to tackle climate change could play a significant role in the global economy’s recovery from the Covid pandemic, according to Charles Dumas, chief economist at the investment research firm TS Lombard. [CNBC]

¶ “TotalEnergies Signs Offshore PPA In Belgium” • TotalEnergies, through its electricity supply subsidiary in Belgium Lampiris, is to deliver 50 GWh per year of renewable electricity from an unnamed offshore wind farm to Air Liquide under a 15-year corporate power purchase agreement. Air Liquide will use the electricity at production sites in Belgium. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Carl Raw, Unsplash)

¶ “IOCL To Build India’s First Green Hydrogen Plant At Mathura Refinery” • Indian Oil Corporation Limited announced that it will set up India’s first ‘Green Hydrogen’ plant at a refinery in Uttar Pradesh, to strengthen its clean energy offerings. Hydrogen has become the focus area across the globe to satisfy increasing energy needs. [Hindustan Times Auto News]

¶ “UK Looks To Remove China’s CGN From Nuclear Power Projects – FT” • Britain is exploring ways to remove China’s state-owned nuclear energy company China General Nuclear Power Group from all future power projects in the UK, according to a report by the Financial Times, which cited people familiar with the plans. [Yahoo News UK]

Nuclear plant (Richard Baker, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Australia:

¶ “Melbourne To Build Inner-City Battery Network In Green Power Push” • A battery network will be established across inner Melbourne from next year in a pilot program designed to encourage the take-up of green power. The city is calling on the private sector and the Victorian government to join its Power Melbourne scheme. [The Age]

¶ “Clean Energy Ad Campaign Points To The Past As The Way Forward” • The Clean Energy Council launched an advertising campaign to show that Australia’s renewable energy industry has the power to not only accelerate the transition to clean, reliable, low-cost energy, but also create jobs and bring benefits all across the country. [pv magazine Australia]

Yackandandah, as featured in ad (CEC image)

¶ “Battery Plan To ‘Stabilize’ Power Supply” • A multi-million dollar battery plant at Tyabb will aim to improve electricity grid reliability and network stability across the Mornington Peninsula, near Melbourn. The plant will buy energy from the grid during off-peak periods when it is cheap, store it in batteries, and sell it during times of peak demand. [MPNEWS]

US:

¶ “The Largest Fire In The US Continues To Defy Crews’ Efforts To Tame It. And The Weather Isn’t Helping” • Despite the efforts of firefighters battling the Bootleg Fire, the raging flames of the nation’s largest wildfire continued to spread in southern Oregon as officials declared weather warnings in the area. The fire is currently 46% contained. [CNN]

Damaged forest (Chris LeBoutillier, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Expects High Demand In The USA In Q3” • Tesla is increasing the prices of the Model 3 and Model Y in the USA again. Tesla is also not exporting any Model 3 or Model Y from Fremont to Europe. All Fremont exports are going to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Europe receives its Tesla’s exclusively from Shanghai. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Calpine And GE Bring An Energy Storage Project Online In Southern California” • Calpine and GE Renewable Energy have completed the Santa Ana Storage Project in southern California. The project contains a 20-MW / 80-MWh standalone battery energy storage system that uses GE’s Reservoir energy storage technology. [pv magazine USA]

Have an uninterruptedly perfect day.

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July 25 Energy News

July 25, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “We Cannot Short-Change Transit – Not Now” • Given the urbanization of our nation, the overdue focus on racial inequity, and climate change, our nation needs to invest much more in cleaner transportation options. Sadly, a bipartisan infrastructure bill could set transit up for long-term cuts in funding. We need to see that doesn’t happen. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus (Juneau Capital Transit electric bus)

¶ “Line 3 Oil Spilled Into The Willow River – Indigenous Water Protectors Need Our Help” • The American government violated its treaty with Native American tribes by allowing Enbridge to install Pipeline3 on their lands without their consent. Now there has been a spill. The hatred, discrimination, and bullying of Indigenous People continues. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “2021: The Year Climate Predictions Become Reality” • On the heels of jaw-dropping heat and flooding across three continents, nearly 200 nations will gather on Monday to validate a critical UN climate science report 100 days ahead of a political summit charged with keeping Earth liveable. The world isn’t the same as it was when the last report issued. [The ASEAN Post]

Forest (Matt Palmer, Unsplash)

¶ “Yep, It’s Bleak, Says Expert Who Tested 1970s End-Of-The-World Prediction” • Gaya Herrington, a Dutch sustainability researcher and adviser to the Club of Rome, made headlines in recent days after she authored a report that appeared to show a controversial 1970s study predicting the collapse of civilization was – apparently – right on time. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Do Electric Vehicles Pollute As Much As Gas-Powered Ones?” • Some people argue that EVs pollute more than gas-powered cars because of the energy needed to manufacture the battery and emissions from electricity generation. The International Council on Clean Transportation issued a study that shows the negative hype is just hooey. [CleanTechnica]

Smog (Jacek Dylag, Unsplash)

¶ “Nuclear Power’s Reliability Is Dropping As Extreme Weather Increases” • It’s increasingly clear that the existing power systems aren’t designed for a changing climate. Nuclear power plants are no exception. Analysis looking at a broad range of climate events shows that it’s not just hot weather that puts these plants at risk; it’s the full range of disturbances. [Ars Technica]

World:

¶ “Newcastle University: Unlocking Untapped Potential Of Ocean Renewable Energy Fuels” • Newcastle University will be part of the Ocean Renewable Energy Fuel program, targeting the conversion of offshore wind and marine renewable energy to liquid and gaseous fuels. The news comes as the UK prepares to host COP26 in Glasgow. [India Education Diary]

Wave energy device (P123, Placed in the Public Domain)

¶ “Impressive Achievements of India In The Renewable Energy Sector” • India has 141 GW of installed capacity of Renewable Energy, the fourth largest installed capacity globally. The effort towards achieving this feat started back in 1992, when India was one of the first countries to set up what is now the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. [The Manila Times]

¶ “Nuclear Phase-Out Plan Emerging As Key Issue In Upcoming Presidential Election” • In 2017, Korea chose to phase out nuclear energy citing concerns of possible accidents. But global pledges to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 cast a cloud over Korea’s nuclear phase-out policy and complicate the presidential election set for March 2022. [The Korea Times]

Steam rising from a cooling tower (Thomas Millot, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “With Wildfires Blazing Across The West, More Counties Are Declaring States Of Emergency” • As dozens of wildfires burn across the West, officials declared additional states of emergency for counties in California and Nevada while the nation’s largest blaze in Oregon continued to swell. The Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon is 42% contained. [CNN]

¶ “California Devotes $10 Million To E-Bike Purchase Assistance And Other E-Bike Adoption Programs” • The California Bicycle Coalition is pushing to get California’s lawmakers to give e-bikes the same public support that goes to larger EVs. They have not quite got that, but they did get the legislature and the governor to approve $10 million in funding. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bike joy (Himiway Bikes, Unsplash)

¶ “30 Million Solar Homes Initiative Promises 1.77 Million Jobs” • A coalition of the Institute For Local Self-Reliance, Solar United Neighbors Action, the Initiative For Energy Justice, and Solar United Neighbors is urging the federal government to create policy and funding initiatives to support adding rooftop solar to 30 million US homes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Proposal To Lay Cables Under Columbia River Met With Skepticism” • Can slicing a 100-mile trench into the bed of the Columbia River be good for the environment? The answer is a big yes, says a team of energy developers that proposes putting submerged power cables in the riverbed. A number of groups are skeptical, however. [The Columbian]

Have a gratifyingly tranquil day.

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July 24 Energy News

July 24, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Cleaner Energy Vision Marred By Burden Of Nuclear Power” • Japan’s industry ministry laid out its vision for a cleaner energy future in its draft Basic Energy Plan. Its goal is to have 36% to 38% of the electricity from renewable sources in fiscal 2030. But it maintains the share of nuclear power at the current level of 20% to 22%, which is baffling. [Asahi Shimbun]

Tomari nuclear plant (Mugu-shisai, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

World:

¶ “Record Month For Plugin Electric Vehicles In China! 15% Share!” • Plugins are on fire in China, having scored a record 235,000 registrations last month, pulling the year-to-date tally to 1.1 million units, a far cry from the 360,000 units that this market had 12 months ago. The number 1 seller is the Wuling HongGuang Mini EV. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm Proposed For Indonesia” • Sunseap Group is a solar energy developer in Singapore. Its chief executive told Reuters it plans to build the world’s largest floating solar farm in Indonesia, about 50 km from Singapore. The solar farm is expected to have a capacity of 2.2 GW and cost about $2 billion to construct. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar farm (Sembcorp Industries Ltd courtesy image)

¶ “Porsche And BASF Team On High-Performance EV Batteries” • Porsche has been making moves towards carbon neutrality. And BASF can provide “high-energy HED NCM cathode active materials” for development of high-density battery cells ideal for high-energy-density applications that need both fast discharging and fast charging. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK County Identifies Simple Yet Brilliant Way To Get Butts In EV Seats” • The UK county of Kent is trialing a brilliant program, offering small businesses two-month trials of electric vans. Kent is starting with a fleet of 24 electric vans from Renault, twenty Kangoo E-Tech vans and four ZOE Vans (a version of Renault’s popular ZOE electric car). [CleanTechnica]

Renault EVs (Image courtesy of Renault)

¶ “Floating Wind Will Boost Canary Islands’ Share Of Renewable Energy” • Ocean Winds, a joint venture of EDP Renewables and ENGIE specializing in offshore wind energy generation, and Spain’s DISA Group, a renewable electricity generator in the Canary Islands, are developing offshore wind farms in the waters of the Canary Islands. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Polish Solar Crew Seals 91 MW Construction Funding” • Polish developer R Power has secured construction finance for a 91-MW portfolio of seven solar farms in Poland. A zł242 million (€53 million, $62.3 million) agreement was signed with BNP Paribas Bank Polska and Santander Bank Polska. The projects were won in auctions last year, R Power said. [reNEWS]

Construction on solar array (R Power image)

¶ “Japanese Government’s Renewable Energy Target Falls Short” • The Japanese Government revealed a new renewable energy target, which at 36% to 38% by 2030, up from the previous 22% to 24%. But it is not nearly the 50% needed. RE100 was asking the Japanese government to raise its renewables ambition ahead of COP26. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Ringo Stars In French Energy Storage Pilot” • French public electricity transmission system operator RTE is partnering with Nidec Industrial Solutions on an energy storage project called Ringo to test the automatic management of surplus renewable electricity. The 12-MW battery project is in the Cote-d’Or region, an area with high wind energy production. [reNEWS]

Battery storage (Image by Cater Jonas)

¶ “‘France Would Have Shut It Down,’ Says Co-Owner On Faulty Nuclear Plant In China” • French energy group EDF said it would have shut down a nuclear reactor if it suffered problems similar to those reported at the next-generation Taishan power plant in China. The reactor is the first in the world to use an advanced pressurised water system developed by EDF. [NDTV]

¶ “Enel Fires Up 140-MW Oyster Bay In South Africa” • Enel Green Power has reached commercial operation at its 140-MW Oyster Bay onshore wind farm in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. The €180 million wind farm will generate over 568 GWh of electricity a year and prevent emissions of 590,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Enel Green Power image)

US:

¶ “Extreme Weather Events Put Spotlight On Climate Change’s Toll On US Infrastructure” • America’s infrastructure has taken a beating from extreme weather events in recent weeks spurred by climate change, raising concerns among officials that the nation’s roads, bridges and even commercial flights can’t stand the severe conditions that are coming to us. [CNN]

¶ “NRDC Sues To Challenge Seismic Testing In The Gulf Of Mexico” • On January 19, just before President Biden took office, the National Marine Fisheries Service published a regulation allowing seismic oil and gas testing in the Gulf of Mexico, with minimal protection for marine mammals. The NRDC and its partner groups have filed a lawsuit. [CleanTechnica]

Sunset at the Gulf (James Lewis, Unsplash)

¶ “New Mexico’s Community Solar Program” • Gov Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Energy Transition Act (SB 489) in 2019, introducing a community solar program and mandating that New Mexico move to 50% renewable energy by 2030. But New Mexico’s community solar program was truly born in 2021, with the Community Solar Act (SB 84). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Over 40% Of New Car Buyers Are Considering An Electrified Vehicle” • Over 40% of those in the market for a new car are thinking about buying an electrified car, according to the latest EY Mobility Lens Consumer Index. Note, however, that this means a fully electric car, a plugin hybrid, or a conventional hybrid without a plug. [CleanTechnica]

Have an absurdly excellent day.

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July 23 Energy News

July 23, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “As The World Burns, California Will Pick Up The Pace On Climate – Maybe” • Reading directives by California’s governor about goals for 2030 and 2035 and 2045, we should think about a report from RMI, whose authors wrote, “The most important year to phase out fossil fuel infrastructure and invest in clean energy solutions is this year.” [Los Angeles Times]

Smoke in California (Bruce Warrington, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bacteria Can Recover Precious Metals From Electric Vehicle Batteries” • Bioleaching, also called biomining, uses microbes that can oxidize metal as part of their metabolism. It has been widely used in the mining industry, where microorganisms are used to extract valuable metals from ores. Bioleaching can also extract metals from used batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “When The Sun Makes Drinking Water” • A new partnership between SOURCE Global and Conservation International will deliver sustainable, clean drinking water to the Binta’t Karis Indigenous peoples of Iraan, in the Philippines. The community has very limited drinking water infrastructure and a history of water-borne disease. [CleanTechnica]

Solar-powered hydropanels (SOURCE image)

¶ “Catastrophic Floods To Be 14 Times More Frequent Across Europe, Study Blames Climate Change” • A study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters claims that catastrophic floods like those that hit Europe are likely to become much more frequent due to global warming. This is largely because warmer air can hold more moisture. [India Today]

World:

¶ “Opportunities For Cleaner, More Efficient Freight Transport In India” • Demand for freight transport is expected to grow fivefold in India by mid-century. While rising freight activity will be critical for India’s economic growth, it also implies challenges related to high logistics costs and high emissions. The challenges are opportunities in themselves. [CleanTechnica]

Freight train in India (Anirudh, Unsplash)

¶ “E&Y: Electric Cars Are Coming Sooner Than Expected” • As EV sales increase in key regions around the world, analysts are gradually revising their forecasts the end of the Oil Age. Ernst & Young now predicts that EV sales in the US, China, and Europe will surpass those of fossil-powered vehicles five years sooner than previously expected. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mercedes-Benz Prepares To Go All-Electric” • Mercedes-Benz provided visions of a future unlike what other auto makers see. They include a realization that the market can flip to 100% EVs before 2030, worldwide. If the market flips, Mercedes-Benz has to be ready. That means it has to be prepared to change to 100% EV production before 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes-EQ, EQS 580 4MATIC (Mercedes image)

¶ “Tesla And BHP Form An Alliance To Promote Sustainability In The Mining And Resources Sector” • BHP and Tesla announced an agreement to supply Tesla with nickel from BHP’s Nickel West asset in Western Australia. According to BHP, Nickel West is one of the most sustainable and emission-free nickel producers in the world. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bigwigs Of India’s Fossil-Fuel Industry Could The Drive Country’s Green Energy Sector” • The key players of India’s fossil-fuel industry, from the government and the private sector, are turning over a ‘green’ leaf. Many of them have announced massive-scale participation in India’s plans to transition to clean energy. [Mongabay-India]

Thermal power plant in India (sheikh sohel, Unsplash)

¶ “China Aims To Install Over 30 GW Of New Energy Storage By 2025” • China aims to install more than 30 GW of new energy storage capacity by 2025, its state planner said, as part of efforts to boost renewable power consumption while ensuring stable operation of the electric grid system. The plan includes several storage technologies, but not pumped hydro. [Reuters]

¶ “Japan Boosts Renewable Energy To Meet Emissions Target” • Japan aims to increase its use of renewable energy a lot and reduce fossil fuel consumption over the next decade as its pushes to meet its ambitious emissions reduction target, according to a draft of a new energy plan. The draft maintains the current target for nuclear energy, however. [Manufacturing.net]

Mount Fuji (Manuel Cosentino, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Bootleg Fire Is Burning Up Carbon Offsets• Oregon’s largest wildfire so far this season, the Bootleg Fire, has burned nearly 400,000 acres spreading approximately four square miles a day across the southern parts of the state. At the time of this report, the flames spread through one fifth of forests set aside for carbon offsets in the immediate area. [CNN]

¶ “Colorado Passes Embodied Carbon Legislation – The Most Important Climate Solution You’ve Never Heard Of” • Under the “Buy Clean Colorado” legislation signed into law by Colorado Governor Jared Polis, public construction projects will have to meet clear environmental criteria for the use of seven common construction materials. [CleanTechnica]

Colorado (Briana Tozour, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Vehicle Registrations Stay Robust Amidst Supply Chain Tensions” • For Q2, Tesla vehicle registrations in California are up 85% from last year, largely due to the success of the Model Y. The all-electric automaker announced record vehicle deliveries for the quarter, even as it confronted an industry-wide shortage of semiconductors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Magic Ingredients For Innovative Batteries? Humble Rust And Salt” • Form Energy, based in Somerville, Massachusetts, has developed an energy storage technology based on iron and rust. In nearby Cambridge, researchers at Malta, Inc are working on an energy storage technology that is based on an equally humble material: molten salt. [WBUR]

Have an extraordinarily fulfilling day.

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July 22 Energy News

July 22, 2021

World:

¶ “Wildfires Have Erupted Across The Globe, Scorching Places That Rarely Burned Before” • For years, scientists have warned that wildfires would become larger and more intense. They have also warned that the fires would happen in places that aren’t used to them. Now, firefighters and others who deal with them are seeing just those things happen. [CNN]

Wildfire (Tobias Seidl, Unsplash)

¶ “China Evacuates Tens Of Thousands As China Storms Spread North” • Tens of thousands of people were being evacuated from flood-hit regions of central China. Some terrified people, on a subway train as the tunnels rapidly flooded, were rescued. Heavy rains have deluged Henan province for almost a week, and the death toll has climbed to 33 people. [Reuters]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Typhoon-Proofs Turbines For Japan” • The increasing winds of storms, especially for typhoon-prone Japan, has led to some changes in the wind industry. To deal with high wind speeds, Siemens Gamesa designed turbines specifically to secure stability in the wind and keep the strong turbines at work providing clean energy. [CleanTechnica]

Typhoon Noru (Image courtesy of NASA)

¶ “Southeast Asian Tycoons Step Up Investments In Renewable Energy Projects Across Indonesia, Vietnam” • AC Energy, a Philippine company, and Sunseap Group, based in Singapore, are investing over $2.4 billion in separate renewable energy projects in Southeast Asia as countries accelerate their transition into a carbon-free future. [Forbes]

¶ “Volkswagen Group More Than Doubles EV Sales In First Half Of 2021” • See the graphic below? It tells you all you need to know about what sort of year Volkswagen Group is having with its battery electric cars. Compared to last year, sales of those cars, including models of Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, and Skoda, are up over 165% compared to 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen Group EV sales (Volkswagen Group image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “BP Acquires Open Energi” • BP has acquired Open Energi, an energy aggregator. Open Energi’s technology optimizes the energy use of low-carbon assets, including battery storage and solar plants, to create cost savings. The company has a digital platform that uses real-time data to optimize the performance of energy assets. [reNEWS]

¶ “Renewable Energy Generation At Record Highs As Gas Slumps” • Renewables jumped up almost 20% in the National Energy Market in the first half of 2021, with New South Wales and Western Australia taking the largest increases at 35% and 41% respectively. But of the market’s 33 large gas power stations, 29 operated at less than 20% capacity. [Mozo]

Wind farm (Nathan Gonthier, Unsplash)

¶ “UN Report On Climate Change Will Be Wake-Up Call For Governments: Analysts” • From devastating floods to destructive wildfires, the impact of accelerating climate change is ever more clearly visible. A report due out next month from the world’s climate scientists will be “a wake-up call” for governments, analysts said. [The Straits Times]

¶ “ScotWind Attracts 74 Bids For Offshore Projects” • Crown Estate Scotland’s latest offshore leasing round has attracted 74 bids across the 15 areas of seabed available for development through the Scottish government’s Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy. Offshore wind could deliver major investment in Scotland’s economy. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Insung Yoon, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Western Wildfire Smoke Is Contributing To New York City’s Worst Air Quality In 15 Years” • Extreme heat and dry conditions are fueling raging wildfires in the western US, charring over a million acres, causing evacuations and creating smoky conditions visible from space. Smoke stretched all the way to the East Coast, making air bad in New York City. [CNN]

¶ “Using Direct Lithium Extraction To Secure US Supplies” • NREL is researching is direct lithium extraction, which extracts lithium from underground brine. It is an emerging geothermal technology that could potentially deliver 10 times the current US lithium demand from California’s known geothermal area in the Salton Sea alone. [CleanTechnica]

Salton Sea (Janet Harvey, Heidelberg University via NREL)

¶ “Vermont Panel Hears Update On Federal Nuclear Waste Storage Policies” • A committee of the advisory panel monitoring the decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant held a meeting this week to get an update on federal nuclear waste policy and the potential ramifications for the Vermont plant. [WAMC]

¶ “California’s Perfect Storm: Hot Weather, Low Reservoirs, Diminished Hydro Power, Unreliable Renewable Energy” • This summer’s energy needs are looking as if they will not be met as California is facing a perfect storm. PG&E is in trouble over wildfires, and Lake Mead has hit its lowest water levels since 1935, when it was built. [California Globe]

Lake Oroville (California Department of Water Resources)

¶ “Walmart, Ikea, And Amazon Have A Dirty Shipping Problem” • Giant retailers, including Amazon and Ikea, have pledged to go green, but their shipping is still pretty dirty. Now shoppers can now see how much pollution some of the biggest companies retailing goods in the US generate while bringing products into the country, thanks to a report. [The Verge]

¶ “Alliant Energy Battery Storage Project In Decorah Providing Renewable Energy” • Alliant Energy’s new battery in Decorah, Iowa, enables more rooftop solar while maintaining reliability of the grid. This project is jointly supported by Alliant Energy, US DOE Office of Electricity, Sandia National Labs and the Iowa Economic Development Authority. [KGAN]

Have a pleasantly surprising day.

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