March 14 Energy News

March 14, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

Science and Technology:

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

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

World:

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

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

Wind turbines (Dimitry Anikin, Unsplash)

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

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

Canary Islands seascape (Cristian Palmer, Unsplash)

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

US:

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

Alpha Wolf (Courtesy of Alpha Motor)

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

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

ERCOT control room (Image courtesy of ERCOT)

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

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

Have a justifiably satisfying day.

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March 13 Energy News

March 13, 2021

Opinion:

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

Wetlands (Steve Adams, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

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

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

Battery (Steve Fecht for General Motors, cropped)

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

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

Lidar imagery from NOAA

World:

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

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

Minesto tidal kite (Minesto image)

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

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

Solar panels (Photo by Jaidee, from Pixabay)

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

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

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

US:

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

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

Kern County, California (Brian Wangenheim, Unsplash)

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

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

Have an overwhelmingly positive day.

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March 12 Energy News

March 12, 2021

Opinion:

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

Electric bus (Image courtesy of Lion Electric)

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

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

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

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

Science and Technology:

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

Carbon Engineering pilot plant (Carbon Engineering image)

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

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

Sunreef catamaran (Sunreef Yachts image)

World:

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

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

Electric trash truck (Image courtesy of BYD)

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

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

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

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

US:

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

Grid Storage Launchpad (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

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

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

Have an invigoratingly refreshing day.

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March 11 Energy News

March 11, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

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

Science and Technology:

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

House in Dillingham (NREL via Twitter)

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

World:

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

Battery manufacture (Tesla image, screenshot)

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

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

Wind blade manufacture (GE image)

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

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

Solar+storage in Australia (ARENA image)

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

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

GE wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

US:

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

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

Canoo electric pickup (Image courtesy of Canoo)

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

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

Have an exuberantly cheery day.

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March 10 Energy News

March 10, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

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

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

Akin Solar plant in Mexico (ENGIE image)

World:

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

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

Venice (Egor Gordeev, Unsplash)

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

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

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

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

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

Solar farm (Lightsource BP image)

US:

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

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

Renewable energy and storage (Tesla image)

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

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

Wind farm (Invenergy image)

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

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

Have an especially rewarding day.

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March 9 Energy News

March 9, 2021

Opinion:

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

Houses with rooftop solar systems (ILSR image)

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

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

Pollution (Daniel Moqvist, Unsplash)

World:

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

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

Wärtsilä floating barge (Wärtsilä Corporation image)

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

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

Hydro plant (kruisvalleihydro.energy)

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

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

Wind turbines (Acciona image)

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

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

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

US:

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

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

Illustration of the Vineyard Wind project (Vineyard Wind image)

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

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

Have a uniformly superb day.

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March 8 Energy News

March 8, 2021

Opinion:

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

Geothermal plant (Pseudopanax, placed into the public domain)

Science and Technology:

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

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

Butterfly (Michal Mrozek, Unsplash)

World:

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

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

Tesla charging stations (Image from Tesmanian via Twitter)

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

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

EV platform from Magna (Magna International image)

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

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

Illustration of a floating solar system (Sembcorp image)

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

US:

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

Wind turbines (Henry & Co, Unsplash)

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

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

Have a fantastically gorgeous day.

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March 7 Energy News

March 7, 2021

Opinion:

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

Wind turbines (Charl Folscher, Unsplash)

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

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

Emissions (Zoya Loonohod, Unsplash)

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

World:

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

Railroad in Sri Lanka (Hendrik Cornelissen, Unsplash)

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

India:

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

Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India (Vikrant Bhonsle, Unsplash)

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

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

Power lines (Nishanth K, Unsplash)

US:

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

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

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

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

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

Have a pleasantly memorable day.

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March 6 Energy News

March 6, 2021

Opinion:

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

Urban landscape (Chuttersnap, Unsplash)

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

Science and Technology:

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

Monarch butterfly (Sandy Millar, Unsplash)

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

World:

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

Xpeng G3

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

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

Tesla Model 3 (Tesla image)

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

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

High-Density Hydro system (RheEnergise image)

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

US:

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

Cadillac Lyriq electric car (Image courtesy of Cadillac)

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

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

Public speaking (Marcos Luiz Photograph, Unsplash)

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

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

Have a superbly satisfying day.

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March 5 Energy News

March 5, 2021

Science and Technology:

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

Storm (Arto Marttinen, Unsplash)

World:

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

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

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

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

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

CorPower wave energy device (Courtesy of Simply Blue Energy)

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

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

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

US:

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

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

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

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

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

Worker at a solar farm (Cypress Creek Renewables image)

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

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

Wind farm (Ørsted image)

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

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

Have a super groovey day.

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March 4 Energy News

March 4, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Make It Modular: Why Wind & Solar Are So Resilient” • In truth, wind and solar power were not the primary cause of the grid failure in Texas – the main culprit was fossil gas plants that went offline. In fact, wind and solar are intrinsically more reliable than fossil power, but not in the way that you might think. It’s based in modularity. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

¶ “Decade After Fukushima, Nuclear Plants Still ‘In Crisis’” • A decade after a tsunami that triggered the nuclear crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Center, nuclear power is still a controversial source of energy despite its providing some 10% of the world’s energy production. When that disaster happened, the industry was already in crisis. [Daily Sabah]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Behold: From Humble Energy Efficient Electric Motor To Climate Hero” • The US startup Turntide has big plans for launching its energy efficient electric motor into the ranks of climate-fighting action heroes. Legacy electric motors, basically unchanged since the 19th century, waste half of their energy. Turntide has overcome that. [CleanTechnica]

Turntide motor (Courtesy of Turntide Technologies)

World:

¶ “Fighting Climate Change Is Now A Job For The Bank Of England” • Central banks are usually tasked with promoting economic growth and employment while keeping inflation in check. Now, add fighting the climate crisis to the list. Now the Bank of England has been given a new mandate to support having a net zero economy by 2050. [CNN]

¶ “Japan Urged To ‘Move Quickly’ On Clean Energy Transition” • Innovation and market reform are needed to drive Japan’s clean energy transition, a policy review by the International Energy Agency says. Japan will need to “move quickly to make headway [on its] ambition of reaching carbon-neutrality by 2050”, the review states. [reNEWS]

Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA (IEA image)

¶ “Offshore Wind Hails Gamechanger UK Budget” • Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget has been described by Renewable UK as a gamechanger for offshore wind manufacturing in the country.
R-UK chief executive Hugh McNea said, “This is a big-bang moment for offshore wind manufacturing in the UK which will drive investment …” [reNEWS]

¶ “TenneT Inks HKN Grid Connection Agreement” • TenneT and Shell-Eneco joint venture CrossWinds have signed an agreement for the construction of the offshore grid connection for the 759 -MW Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind farm. The agreement formalises the connection of the offshore wind farm to the Dutch electricity grid. [reNEWS]

Offshore substation (TenneT image)

¶ “Karnataka’s Renewable Energy Policy For 2021-2026 Aims At Adding 2 GW Of Rooftop Solar” • Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited issued the “Draft Karnataka Renewable Energy Policy 2021-2026,” which is aimed at developing 20 GW of renewable energy projects with and without energy storage. Of this, 2 GW will be rooftop systems. [Mercom India]

US:

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E Gets Nearly 4,000 Sales In First Full Month! 70% Conquest Sales!” • Ford reported February sales (it’s one of the few automakers that still reports monthly US sales), and the headline news is that the Mustang Mach-E had nearly 4,000 sales in its first full month on the market. And 70% of the buyers switched from other brands. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Image courtesy of Ford)

¶ “Biden’s Energy Secretary Vows To ‘Leave No Worker Behind’ In The Clean Energy Revolution” • Fossil fuel workers will not be left behind in the Biden administration’s push to embrace clean energy. That’s the promise from new Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, addressing workers worried that their livelihoods will be disrupted. [CNN]

¶ “Two Louisiana Clean Fuels Members Join Electric Highway Coalition” • Entergy and Southwestern Electric Power Company joined the Electric Highway Coalition. Southern Company, Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, and the Tennessee Valley Authority were already in it. The coalition aims to create seamless electric vehicle charging across its area. [CleanTechnica]

Electric Highway Coalition area (Image courtesy of Entergy)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Morgan Stanley: The Oil Industry Is About To Become Worthless” • We are starting to see the transformation under way. In a survey of institutional investors, Morgan Stanley found that 17% of respondents think internal combustion engine technology has zero or negative value today, and 60% said its value was only slightly positive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The US Installed More Wind Turbine Capacity In 2020 Than In Any Other Year” • According to data published by the Energy Information Administration, 2020 was a record year for wind turbine capacity additions in the US, at 14.2 GW. The previous record was 13.2 GW in 2012. The total wind turbine capacity in the US is now 118 GW. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Romero Souza, Unsplash)

¶ “Visa’s NoVA Data Center To Run On Renewable Energy” • Visa has entered a multi-year energy agreement with MP2 Energy LLC to power the company’s data center in Northern Virginia with 100% renewable energy. The data center is Visa’s largest and accounts for more than one-third of the company’s global electricity usage. [Patch.com]

¶ “New Orleans City Council Joins $1 Billion Complaint Against Entergy Over Mismanagement Of Grand Gulf Nuclear Station” • The New Orleans City Council joined two other utility regulators in a complaint against Entergy Corp over its management of the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Mississippi. They say frequent outages cost them $1 billion. [The Lens]

Have a remarkably advantageous day.

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March 3 Energy News

March 3, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “House Democrats’ Climate Bill Fails to Meet Urgent Crisis” • House Energy and Commerce Democrats introduced revamped legislation today that aims for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. But it fails to set adequate measures to meet those goals, as it does not include any binding mechanisms to achieve its targets. [Center for Biological Diversity]

The road ahead (UnKknown Traveller, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “In February The US Experienced Record Cold Temperatures While Much Of The Planet Hit All-Time Highs” • While some of the coldest weather in a century was gripping millions of people in American for over a week in February, large areas of the globe were basking in the warmest weather they had ever observed during winter. [CNN]

¶ “Low Carbon Concrete – Starting From The Ground Up” • Of all global CO₂ emissions, 8 to 11% come from the manufacture of concrete. Several companies use CO₂ or reduce CO₂ emissions in their products in different ways to produce “green” concrete products that range from somewhat lower carbon, to zero carbon and carbon negative. [CleanTechnica]

Concrete truck (Courtesy of Wilsonville Concrete)

¶ “Argonne Climate Model Is Helping PG&E Plan For Climate Change, Wildfire Impacts” • As part of a wider effort on the part of Pacific Gas and Electric Co to protect its customers’ safety and support grid reliability, it is sponsoring research at the US DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory to produce local climate-change models. [Transmission & Distribution World]

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Uses Pollution-Absorbing Paint To Advertise ID.3 In UK” • Volkswagen ID.3 EVs are manufactured using 100% renewable electricity. Volkswagen plans to recycle the batteries in its EVs. Now, its large outdoor ads for the ID.3 use a special paint called Airlite to paint the exterior walls of buildings in London. Airlite absorbs several pollutants. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.3 ad (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Volvo To Go Fully Electric By 2030” • By the end of the decade, the only Volvo you’ll be able to buy will be electric. Volvo announced plans to stop selling cars that run on fossil fuels by 2030, part of an growing trend within the industry to respond to pressure to tackle the climate crisis. And you’ll only be able to buy a Volvo online. [CNN]

¶ “Electric Boda-Bodas Launch: A Promising Day For Electric Transportation In East Africa” • Kenya and Uganda both have electricity grids predominantly powered by renewables. Both nations are also faced with the interesting problem of having excess generation capacity. In both countries, it makes sense to use electric motorcycles. [CleanTechnica]

Electric motorcycles

¶ “Invest Energy To Pump RM2.2 Billion In Renewable Energy” • Invest Energy Sdn Bhd, a company in the renewal and clean energy sector, plans to invest RM2.2 billion ($540 million) over the next five to seven years in increasing its investments and presence in Malaysia and the Southeast Asian region, especially Vietnam. [New Straits Times Online]

¶ “Mastretta Launches Electric Cargo Bike That Can Haul 400 Pounds” • Mastretta claims that its four MX3 configurations will meet just about every need, and it’s kind of hard to argue with that assertion in the face of what is, perhaps, the bikes’ most impressive feature: the MX3 Cargo 200 Remolque’s 440 lb. towing capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Mastretta electric cargo bikes (Image courtesy of Mastretta)

¶ “French Feb Nuclear Falls To Record Low As Maintenance Season Starts Early” • Average French nuclear generation fell to a record low in February of 45 GW, down 5.5% on the year, grid operator data showed. When two reactors came offline for annual maintenance on February 27, an unprecedented 11 units started maintenance before March. [S&P Global]

¶ “The Greek Island Where Renewable Energy And Hybrid Cars Rule” • Tilos is now the first island in southern Europe to build a hybrid power station with battery storage. It could become an example for other isolated communities looking to go green. Islands have long been centers for experiments on new energy technologies. [Inside Climate News]

Village of Livadhia, Tilos (Fredrik Rubensson, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “John Kerry Has A Warning For Big Oil” • John Kerry had some tough talk for the leaders of Big Oil. The message: embrace clean energy or get left behind. “You don’t want to be sitting there with a lot of stranded assets. You’re gonna wind up on the wrong side of this battle,” Kerry said at the energy conference CERAWeek by IHS Markit. [CNN]

¶ “Joby Aviation Set To Take Its EVTOL Public In $6.6 Billion SPAC Deal” • Toyota put a $394 million investment Toyota put into Joby Aviation last year, before the first of the company’s tilt-rotor aircraft even took to the air. Now, through a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company, it’s being valued at $6.6 billion on the NYSE. [CleanTechnica]

Joby EVTOL (Image from The Verge, via MotorAuthority)

¶ “Most Georgians Believe In Global Warming, Favor More Solar” • As the Biden administration gets more aggressive on climate change, 77% of registered Georgia voters surveyed say they believe global warming is occurring and most say they are willing to pay more to combat it, according to a poll from the University of Georgia. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

¶ “Hershey Announces Bold 2030 Goals To Address Climate Change And Reduce Environmental Footprint” • The Hershey Company has announced new commitments to advance its environmental progress and contribute to global climate action. Hershey has taken on ambitious new goals to reduce its global emissions. [CSRwire.com]

Have a fundamentally carefree day.

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March 2 Energy News

March 2, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Against The Odds, South Australia Is A Renewable Energy Powerhouse. How Did They Do It?” • Less than two decades ago, all of South Australia’s electricity came from fossil fuels. Last year, renewables provided 60% of the state’s electricity. The progress came as national climate policy was all but paralyzed. So how did it happen? [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm in South Australia (ScottDavis [?], CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Has Renewable Energy Become Cheaper Than Fossil Fuel?” • Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s research shows that renewable energy is now cheaper than all new-build coal and gas power stations – the same ones that are touted as the more economical way to produce electricity. And renewable energy is not just cheaper. It is a lot cheaper. [Energy Matters]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Car Batteries Need Far Less Raw Materials Than Fossil-Fuel Cars – New Study” • An EV battery uses up just 30 kg of raw materials with recycling compared to the 17,000 litres of petrol burned by the average car, according to a new study that shows Europe’s current crude oil dependency far outweighs its need for battery raw materials. [CleanTechnica]

NiSO₄ · 6H₂O (Benjah-bmm27, placed into the public domain)

¶ “100% Renewable Energy Could Power The World By 2030, Experts Say” • Electricity from solar, wind, and water could power the entire world in less than 10 years, leading energy experts say. Renewable energy could also be the sole energy source for the world’s heating, cooling, transport, and industries by 2035. [Yahoo News Canada]

World:

¶ “Italy’s EV Charging Infrastructure Is About To Get A High-Power Boost” • For people to adopt EVs, the charging system has to be useful. Italy’s electric car market is just now starting to get noticed, and while its limited network of fast chargers has always been a concern of skeptics and enthusiasts alike, this issue may soon become a thing of the past. [CleanTechnica]

Enel-X charging point

¶ “Opibus Scaling Electric Vehicle Conversions For Mass Transit Vehicles To Make Electric Mobility More Accessible In Africa” • Opibus is a Nairobi-based startup founded in 2017, is converting vehicles to electric drive. It has been focusing on converting off-road safari and game drive vehicles using its proprietary EV drivetrain. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Yara Kickstarts Green Ammonia Industry With Green Hydrogen” • Just a couple of months ago, the US DOE was pushing for green hydrogen with a venture aimed at teasing farmers into the market. Now, the global firm Yara has a green ammonia project in Norway that is similar, but different, and much, much, much bigger. [CleanTechnica]

Zero-emission ship (Photo courtesy of Yara)

¶ “Aboitiz Power To Supply Renewable Energy To Wells Fargo In Taguig” • Aboitiz Power Corporation, through a subsidiary, will supply renewable energy to Wells Fargo International Solutions LLC in the Philippines. it will deliver about 7,500 MWh to Wells Fargo’s Taguig City facility, which is equivalent to 65% of its electricity needs. [The Border Mail]

¶ “Japanese PV Investor Starts Up First Wind Farm” • Japanese solar investor Ichigo has commenced operations of its first wind power plant. The 7.4-MW wind farm, near Yonezawa city in the Yamagata prefecture, comprises four 1.8-MW Hitachi turbines. The Ichigo Yonezawa wind farm is the company’s 52nd clean power plant, after 51 solar plants. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)

¶ “Pumped Hydro With Desalination, Powered By Renewables” • A local unit of US infrastructure developer Oceanus Power & Water, has signed a deal with French energy giant EDF to build the world’s first integrated pumped hydro reverse osmosis clean energy system. The project will be built at an unspecified site in Chile’s Andes region. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Mars Australia Transitions To 100% Renewable Electricity” • Mars Australia is switching to using renewable electricity to offset 100% of the power at its six factories and two offices in Australia. Mars’ global program, Sustainable in a Generation, has goals to reduce its global greenhouse gas emissions by 27% by 2025 and 67% by 2050. [pv magazine Australia]

Kiamal Solar Farm in Victoria (Mars Australia)

¶ “Ex-PMs Kan, Koizumi Urge Japan To Quit Nuclear Power Generation” • Former prime ministers Naoto Kan and Junichiro Koizumi urged Japan to stop using nuclear power, saying the country should learn from the Fukushima crisis and turn to renewable energy. “Why should we use something that’s more expensive and less safe?” Koizumi asked. [The Mainichi]

US:

¶ “Jennifer M Granholm Sworn In As 16th Secretary Of Energy” • Jennifer M Granholm was sworn in as the 16th Secretary of Energy by Vice President Kamala Harris, following a broad bipartisan confirmation vote of 64–35 in the United States Senate. Secretary Granholm is only the second woman to lead the US DOE. [CleanTechnica]

Jennifer M Granholm (Screenshot, via the US DOE)

¶ “Avangrid Breeds California Condors To Quash Wind Turbine Death Smear” • The renewable energy firm Avangrid is planning to spend half a million dollars over a three-year period to breed six condors in captivity at the Oregon Zoo. The program is to settle concerns over its Manzana wind farm in Kern County, California. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden Administration Sets Social Cost Of Carbon At $51 Per Ton” • The social cost of carbon measures the economic cost of the damage done to people and the Earth by emitting billions of tons of CO₂ every year. The Biden administration set the social cost of carbon at $51 per ton – 7 times higher than the price set by the prior administration. [CleanTechnica]

Have a blissfully blossoming day.

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March 1 Energy News

March 1, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Will Tesla Hit Elon’s 20 Million Vehicles Per Year By 2030 Target?” • One of the bolder targets announced by Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year was to reach a 20 million-vehicle-per-year production capacity before 2030. He projected 30 million EVs sold annually by all companies in six to seven years. Are those goals really possible? [CleanTechnica]

Projected price decline (ARK Investment Management image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Science and Technology:

¶ “Atlantic Ocean Circulation Weakest In A Millennium” • The Atlantic Ocean circulation underpinning the Gulf Stream is weaker than at any point in the last 1,000 years largely due to climate change, and that could cause disastrous sea level rise along the US Eastern Seaboard, new research published in the journal Nature Geoscience says. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Greencoat Renewables Hails Stellar Year” • Irish investor Greencoat Renewables increased both power and income last year on the back of a string of acquisitions, according to annual results. Output from its wind farms was up 22% to 1,404 GWh while net cash flow was up 36% to €66.4 million. Its portfolio grew to a capacity of 557 MW. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Greencoat Renewables image)

¶ “Profits Surge At European Energy” • Danish energy developer European Energy had a 38% increase in operating profit to €61.2 million last year, exceeding its own guidance. It said the result was “remarkable” given the economic hit from Covid-19. Gross profit was up 29% to €73.9 million, and equity stood at €235.3 million, a 71% rise since the end of 2019. [reNEWS]

¶ “RWE Notches First Power At Triton Knoll” • RWE Renewables has delivered first power from the 857-MW Triton Knoll offshore wind farm off east England. The generation milestone follows the successful delivery of electrical infrastructure on schedule, despite the construction challenges during the Covid pandemic, the German company said. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (RWE Renewables image)

¶ “Tokyo Electric Completes Nuclear Fuel Removal From Fukushima Daiichi No 3 Storage Pool” • TEPCO has completed removal of fuel assemblies from the storage pool of the No 3 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, it said. As scrapping the plant goes on, removal of damaged fuel from reactors has not even begun. [Kyodo News Plus]

¶ “Vestas Books First EnVentus Deal In Ukraine” • Vestas has signed a contract to supply turbines from its EnVentus turbine platform to Tiligulska Wind Electric Plant, a subsidiary of DTEK Renewables, for the 126-MW Tiligulska wind farm in Ukraine. The deal includes supply, installation and commissioning of 21 V162-6.0MW machines. [reNEWS]

V150-5.6 MW prototype installation

India:

¶ “Indian Renewable Developer Proposes Investment of $570 Million In Solar Modules, Lithium-Ion Battery Plant” • ReNew Power proposed to set up a solar PV production facility in Gujarat with 2–4 GW per annum capacity and another facility to produce lithium-ion batteries. The investment will be around ₹40 billion ($570 million). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Indian Wind Generator Plans $600 Million Green Bond” • Indian wind energy generator Continuum Wind Energy plans to issue its first green bond, backed by the International Finance Corporation. Media reports say Continuum will issue a green bond to raise $500-600 million. The company operates 371 MW of renewable capacity currently. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine in India (Rajavel vanaraj, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “India Plans Green Hydrogen Auctions” • According to media reports, the minister for new and renewable energy, RK Singh, said his government is exploring the possibilities for a green hydrogen auction over the next three to four months. He is in discussions on a mandate for companies to buy set minimum quantities of green hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “GreenPower Ramping Up Electric Commercial Vehicles, Electric School Buses, Autonomous Transit …” • Forest River, Inc, a Berkshire Hathaway company with revenues exceeding $5 billion, signed a purchase agreement with GreenPower for 150 GreenPower EV Star Cab and Chassis. If all goes well, that could be just a start. [CleanTechnica]

GreenPower AV Star (GreenPower image)

¶ “Community Microgrids – ‘Cornerstone Of Future Energy Operations'” • A full description of microgrids would go beyond their use for energy resilience to make them the “cornerstone of future energy operations.” The Solar Energy Technologies Office announced in 2020 it would award $34 million for integration projects, including community microgrids. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDPR In 204-MW US Power Play” • EDPR secured a power purchase agreement for a 204-MW wind project in Indiana. The contract will last 15 years and the unnamed project is expected to start in 2023. EDPR, which is a Portuguese company, now has 2.3 GW of total capacity secured in the US set to be operational from 2021 onwards. [reNEWS]

View from a wind turbine (EDPR image)

¶ “Houston Chronicle Says Texas Failed To Build In Energy Efficiency To Plan For Climate Extremes” • It was “paradoxical” that Texas authorities asked their citizens to conserve energy in the hope of avoiding blackouts this month, says the Houston Chronicle, as most of their buildings lack sufficient insulation and other necessary features to do so. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Helping Wisconsin Schools Go Solar” • To help lower carbon emissions and cost of energy, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association is trying to get as many Wisconsin schools to go solar as possible. MREA began ‘Solar on Schools’ in 2019 and offers $20,000 grants to help pay for installation. One school in Central Wisconsin is already seeing benefits. [WBAY]

Have satisfactorily resplendent day.

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February 28 Energy News

February 28, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Environmental Collapse: It’s Time Economists Put The Planet On Their Balance Sheets” • A ‘ground-sparing’ economic report on biodiversity indicates that economic practice has to change because the world is finite. Climate change results from a larger issue, the threat to our life support systems from the plunder and demise of our natural environment. [RenewEconomy]

Earth (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, public domain)

¶ “Renewable Energy Lasting Solution To Oil-Price Crisis” • As petroleum prices soar, it is time to examine the overall energy scenario for India. Rises in petroleum costs are tied to increased inflation. Also, India imports almost 100% of its petroleum, so higher costs also imply less favorable trade balance. These are not problems for renewables. [The Hans India]

¶ “Texas Shows Us Our Water Future With Climate Change: It Ain’t Pretty” • Earlier this week, 1 in 22 Americans didn’t have water or was on a boil water alert. Texas did not suffer alone, as people in Oklahoma and Louisiana also lost water. Sadly, the storm was just a glimpse of how climate change will impact our water supplies. [CleanTechnica]

Drought monitor (David Miskus, NOAA, NWS, NCEP, CPC US)

¶ “Bill Gates Is Wrong About Nuclear Power” • In his new book, Bill Gates argues that nuclear power is needed to respond to climate disaster because it’s the only emissions-free source of energy that can be supplied around the clock. He fails to see that the paradigm it fits in is obsolete, it is not needed, and it still has unsolved waste issues. [The Hankyoreh]

World:

¶ “Lithium-Ion Recycling Company Is Going Public” • In proof that lithium-ion batteries really can be recycled, North America’s largest lithium-ion battery recycling company is going public through a deal with a special purpose acquisition company. Based in Canada, Li-Cycle Holdings, will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium-ion batteries going to the shredder (Li-Cycle image)

¶ “Amazon And Walmart-Backed Rival Flipkart Announce EV Partnerships For Indian Deliveries” • E-commerce giant Amazon and its Walmart-backed Indian rival Flipkart both announced partnerships with electric vehicle manufacturers for last-mile delivery of products in India. And they are by no means the only companies doing so. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Overtakes Wind As India’s Largest Renewable Energy Technology” • Solar power has replaced wind power to become the largest renewable energy technology in India. According to data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for January 2021, solar power capacity in India was 38.7 GW, and wind energy capacity was 38.6 GW. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine in India (Rajavel vanaraj, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Renewable Power Projects For Agriculture, Fishery Sectors Eyed” • Two departments of the Philippine government, the Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture will be working to guide renewable energy projects in the agriculture and fishery sectors to promote the use of clean energy in boosting food security. [Philstar.com]

US:

¶ “SMT Energy Announces Partnership With Goldman Sachs Renewable Power” • SMT Energy and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power announced a strategic partnership to develop renewable energy assets in the US. In the partnership’s first transaction, GSRP is acquiring 55 MW of community solar facilities in upstate New York from SMT. [ThomasNet News]

Solar array in Saratoga Springs (Greg Johnstone, US DOE)

¶ “Magna Breaks Ground On Plant For Hummer EV Battery Compartments” • GM is working with its supplier, Magna, to build battery enclosures for its upcoming Hummer EV. The enclosures are complex, and building them is not simple. A 345,000 square foot facility is expected to add 300 jobs to the city of St. Clair, Michigan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal-Fired Power Plant On Ohio River Set To Close This Year” • Duke Energy’s 63-year-old, coal-fired R Gallagher power plant, whose twin smokestacks that have long towered over the Ohio River city of New Albany, was scheduled to be retired in 2022. But the company recently announced that the plant will close by June 1. [Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]

Have an absurdly delightful day.

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February 27 Energy News

February 27, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “EVs Are Already At Price Parity, But The Electric CARS Act Would Make Them Irresistible” • Bloomberg Green contributor Nathaniel Bullard makes the case that EVs are already at price parity with conventional cars because inexpensive new cars have pretty much vanished. Now, congress is looking at legislation that will give EVs a clear advantage. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla (Matt Henry, Unsplash)

¶ “A Return To Science: Evidence-Based Estimates Of Benefits Of Reducing Climate Pollution” • In January, President Biden issued a Memorandum directing Federal agencies to be guided by the best available science and data. One tool, the “social cost of greenhouse gases,” combines climate science and economics to understand costs of pollution. [Mirage News]

World:

¶ “InstaVolt Teams Up With Everrati To Give Iconic Cars An Electric Future” • InstaVolt and Everrati are teaming up on work on the world’s most iconic and classic cars. Everrati reengineers classic cars into zero-emissions vehicles and then restores them. The cars get state-of-the-art electric drivetrains, electric power units, and battery packs. [CleanTechnica]

Salvaged jalopy (Image courtesy of Salon Privé)

¶ “SolarPower Europe Launches The Solar Manufacturing Accelerator” • The European Solar Initiative and Solar Power Europe have teamed up to launch the new Solar Manufacturing Accelerator. The new platform is aimed at speeding deployment of solar PV manufacturing projects in Europe and strengthening EU leadership in clean energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kia And Hyundai Electric Car Drivers Get Access To About 15,000 EV Charge Points In UK” • Hyundai and Kia are giving a nice boost to their EV buyers in the UK, access to a large number of charging stations from just one app. The programs are not the same. The Hyundai program has 15,000 charging stations, and the Kia program has 13,900. [CleanTechnica]

Kia charging (Image courtesy of Kia)

¶ “Shell Accelerating Renewables Push In Germany” • Royal Dutch Shell in Germany aims to produce aviation fuel and naphtha made from crops and renewable power and to increase to commercial scale an electrolysis plant that makes fossil-free hydrogen. The global Shell group has set itself a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. [OE Digital]

¶ “France Extends Lifetime Of Oldest Nuclear Reactors” • On Thursday, France’s nuclear safety authority agreed to extend the operational lifetime of the country’s 32 oldest nuclear reactors by a decade to as much as 50 years. The reactors had been intended to run for 40 years. Nuclear energy provides about 70% of French electricity. [Manufacturing Business Technology]

Cooling tower in France (Thomas Millot, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “BYD Will Help You Get Cash Money For Electric Buses” • BYD wants to sell as many electric buses as it can, and it has a huge amount of experience selling its line of electric buses around the world. So, it came up with an idea for a grant program and assistance with the federal grant applications. It offers more help than that, too. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oil Is Up Nearly 70% Since The Election, A Record In The Modern Era” • The oil market is starting the Biden era with a bang, and Covid-weary Americans returning to the roads this spring and summer will be greeted with higher prices at the pump. Since the election, US oil prices are up sharply to $63.50 at Thursday’s close, a rise of 69%. [CNN]

Pump jack (Jeff W, Unsplash)

¶ “Energy Secretary Granholm: Texas Outages Show Need For Changes To US Power Systems” • Newly confirmed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm seized on the winter weather that left millions of Texans without heat and electricity last week to press for reform of the state’s power systems. She argued in favor of pivoting to a clean energy economy. [NPR]

¶ “Largest US Electric School Bus Order Ever – Montgomery County Orders 326 Buses (Just To Start)” • Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland decided to fully electrify its fleet. It chose Highland Electric Transportation to transition its school bus fleet from fossil fuels to electricity. It started with an order for 326 electric school buses. [CleanTechnica]

Thomas Built Bus, powered by Proterra

¶ “City Of Encinitas Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity Offering” • The Encinitas City Council voted to establish San Diego Community Power’s premium product, Power100, as the default electricity choice for all customers in the city. Power100 will provide 100% renewable electricity to customers at a cost on par with going rates. [Encinitas Advocate]

¶ “USA’s First Zero-Emissions Delivery Zone Is In Santa Monica, California” • The City of Santa Monica has decided to be a leader in electrification efforts as the first city in the US to implement a zero-emissions delivery zone. This will be done with the support of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, Nissan, IKEA, Shopify, Motiv Power Systems, and others. [CleanTechnica]

Santa Monica Zero Emissions Delivery Vehicles
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Xcel Energy Plans To Double Renewables” • Ahead of a key regulatory proceeding, Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest utility, announced plans to achieve an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation by 2030. The utility’s 85% emissions-reduction goal is a step up from the 80% cut the utility targeted in 2018. [Pagosa Daily Post]

¶ “Biden Hikes Cost Of Carbon, Easing Path For New Climate Rules” • President Joe Biden restored an Obama-era calculation on the economic cost of greenhouse gases, a step that will make it easier for his agencies to approve aggressive actions on climate change. Economists and climate scientists say even higher costs are justified by new research. [Politico]

Have a prodigiously tranquil day.

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February 26 Energy News

February 26, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “How The Race For Renewable Energy Is Reshaping Global Politics” • Andrew Forrest, chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, searched the world for five months to find sites for hydropower and geothermal energy. The experience told him that in fifteen years, energy will be completely changed.  And that will change politics globally. [InsideClimate News]

Wind turbines (Thomas Richter, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Ford Is Using Blockchain Technology To Improve Urban Air Quality” • Blockchain technology is already used to advance solar energy distribution and to ensure the ethical sourcing of the rare-earth minerals used in advanced electric powertrains. Now, Ford is using blockchain  to help reduce air pollution in European city centers. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Chinese £3,200 Budget Electric Car Takes On Tesla” • An EV selling in China for $4,500 (£3,200) is outselling Tesla’s more upmarket cars. The Hong Guang Mini EV is being built by a joint venture of state-owned SAIC Motor, China’s top automaker, with General Motors. January sales in China of the budget electric car were around double those of Tesla. [BBC]

Wuling Hong Guang Mini (Jengtingchen, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Asian Banks Are Failing On Climate By Channeling Billions Into Coal, Report Says” • Many of the world’s leading financial institutions have pledged sharp reductions in support for the coal and oil industries. But a report has found that hundreds of billions of dollars are still being channeled into fossil fuels. Much of that investment is by Asia’s banks. [CNN]

¶ “UK’s Largest Commercial EV Order Yet – British Gas Orders 2,000 Electric Vans” • British Gas, the largest energy and home services company in the UK, put in an order for 2,000 electric vans, which it says is a record number. The company has a fleet of 12,000 vehicles, and it intends to have every single one of its vehicles electric by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

British gas electric van (Image courtesy of Vauxhall)

¶ “8.4% Of Chinese Vehicle Sales In January Were Plugin Vehicle Sale” • After the December plugin vehicle sales peak in China, sales were still brisk in January. The market had some 173,000 passenger new energy vehicles registered, an impressive 223% jump year over year, and the highest growth rate this market has seen in 3 years! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Madhya Pradesh: Ten-Fold Growth In Renewable Energy Capacity Since 2012 ” • The Indian State of Madhya Pradesh recorded a ten-fold growth in the renewable energy sector in the last nine years, its chief minister said. In 2012, the renewable energy capacity of the state was 491 MW. That has now increased to 5042 MW. [pv magazine India]

Rewa Solar Park (Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited)

¶ “Renewable Energy Boom Prompts Calls To Start Planning For Yallourn Coal Closure, Community Groups Say” • The Victorian government is facing calls to start planning for the closure of Yallourn power station after the release of analysis that predicts some coal plants could close as soon as 2025 because of the rapid growth in renewables. [ABC News]

¶ “Renewable Energy Listed For First Time As One Of Australia’s Top Infrastructure Priorities” • Renewable energy zones and dispatchable energy storage have been listed as “high priority initiatives” by Infrastructure Australia for the first time. The energy initiatives are among 44 new infrastructure proposals on the priority list. [The Guardian]

Solar powered radio telescope in Australia (ESA, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “A Clean Energy Milestone: Renewables Pulled Ahead Of Coal In 2020” • The ongoing rise of wind and solar power, combined with the steady performance of hydroelectric power, was enough for renewable energy sources to surge ahead of coal, according to 2020 figures released this week by the US Energy Information Administration. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “GM Is Making Progress On Its Ultium Battery Plant” • Ultium Cells LLC is a joint venture between General Motors and LG Chem, a Korean company with expertise in batteries. They’re building their first battery plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and GM has issued a press release to tell us how pleased they are with their progress on plant construction. [CleanTechnica]

Construction in Lordstown (Roger Mastroianni for General Motors)

¶ “North Carolina Advances Its Clean Energy Transition” • 2020 did not go according to plan, to say the least. But that did not stall North Carolina’s drive forward on clean energy. Over the past year, state officials, utilities, and a broad set of stakeholders worked together to advance key portions of the state’s Clean Energy Plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas Natural Gas Production Fell ~45% During Cold Front” • Natural gas production in Texas fell almost 45% from 21.3 Bcf/d during the week ending February 13 to a daily low of 11.8 Bcf/d on February 17, according to IHS Markit estimates. Temperatures in the state averaged nearly 30°F lower than normal during the week of February 14. [CleanTechnica]

Texas natural gas graph (US EIA image)

¶ “Texas Weather: New Jersey Plumber Offers A Helping Hand” • Plumber Andrew Mitchell and his family drove from New Jersey to Texas in a truck loaded up with around $2,000 (£1,418) worth of materials to offer a helping hand. He and his brother-in-law, Isiah Pinnock, have worked long days to repair storm damage for families in the Houston area. [BBC]

¶ “Midwest Renewable Energy Association Files Lawsuit For Third-Party Solar Financing Access In Wisconsin” • The Midwest Renewable Energy Association filed a lawsuit in  Wisconsin to ensure that the Public Service Commission sticks to regulating utility companies and does not interfere with clean energy for families and businesses. [Solar Power World]

Have a majestically beautiful day.

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February 25 Energy News

February 25, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “From Ignorance To Greed To Ideology To Propaganda: The Failures Of Texas’ Grid” • There were a number of failures in Texas last week that were much bigger issues than renewable energy. The grid failures were predictable and avoidable. The state, utilities, and most municipalities all failed the citizens and businesses of Texas. [CleanTechnica]

Paris, Texas (Courtesy of the National Weather Service)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Green Hydrogen, Waste Hydrogen Both In Play For Rapid Decarbonization” • Now that all the big carmakers are on board with electrification, what are they going to do about all that carbon entwined with their supply chains, especially for steel? The answer appears to be hydrogen, both green, from renewable resources, and waste. [CleanTechnica]

“Heat Pumps And Efficiency – Some Key Solutions To Texas’ Electricity Woes” • Texas’ woes were caused as much by increased demand as by failures of the grid. In poorly weatherized homes, 35% used gas furnaces and 60% used lower efficiency electric heating. High efficiency heat pumps provide part of the answer for heat and cooling. [CleanTechnica]

Heat pump operations (Dandelion Energy image)

World:

¶ “22% Of German Vehicle Sales In January Were Plugins!” • The German passenger plugin vehicle market saw registrations double in January year over year to 36,903. While full electrics jumped 118% YOY, plugin hybrids did even better, at 138%. This brilliant performance took place in a steep fall of the overall market, down 31% YOY. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DHL Teams With Volvo Trucks To Speed Up Transition To Fossil-Free Trucking” • If there is any question that trucking is turning to electric drive systems, DHL Freight and Volvo Trucks are showing the answer. They have partnered to speed up the introduction of heavy duty electric trucks to be used for regional transport throughout Sweden. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a truck (Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

¶ “Bladt Expands Factory For Supersized Monopiles” • Offshore wind fabricator Bladt Industries invested to expand its factory in Denmark to produce XXL monopiles for next-generation wind turbines. The Danish outfit said it expects to be ready to deliver XXL monopiles from the upgraded production facilities at Lindo Port of Odense in 2022. [reNEWS]

¶ “GIG Inks Wind Offtake With Danone In Poland” • Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has signed an agreement with Danone companies in Poland to supply it with renewable energy through a 10-year power purchase agreement. GIG is now supporting eighteen corporations with PPAs, representing a total of 3 GW of renewables capacity. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Abby Anaday, Unsplash)

¶ “Australia Emerges As APAC Renewable Energy Leaders” • Research from IHS Markit revealed that Australia leads the Asia Pacific region when it comes to renewable energy production with 89% of all power sources under construction being solar, wind, hydro, or other renewables. They are to deliver around 80 GW of cpacity in coming years. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Construction Starting Gun Primed For 176-MW NZ Farm” • Meridian Energy announced it is soon to start construction of a new 176-MW wind farm in New Zealand. The Harapaki Wind Farm will be New Zealand’s second largest with 41 Siemens Gamesa 4.3-MW wind turbines generating enough to power over 70,000 average households. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ “Fukushima’s Legacy: Japan’s Hard Turn Toward Renewables” • After the tsunami flooded the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on 11 March 2011, all of all the country’s 54 nuclear reactors were shut down as a safety precaution. Now, nine are back online. Getting to the country’s carbon emissions goals will mean a big move toward renewable energy. [IEEE Spectrum]

US:

¶ “Oshkosh Defense Wins Contract To Build Next Generation Vehicles For USPS” • USPS announced it has awarded a contract to design and build what it calls its Next Generation Delivery Vehicle to Oshkosh Defense, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corp. Some of the vehicles will be gas powered, and some will be EVs, but there is no word on the mix.  [CleanTechnica]

USPS Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (USPS image)

¶ “EV Charging Station Installations Increasing Fast In USA, From 245 In 2009 To 20,000+ In 2019” • A recent snapshot of EV charging stations from the DOE said their number rose from 245 in 2009 to more than 20,000 in 2019. The DOE also said, “From 2017 to 2019, about 5,000 new charging outlets were installed each year.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal Projected To Exit US Electricity By 2033. Trump Might Have Killed It” • The biggest problem for coal is economics. It shouldn’t be surprising that Bloomberg and Morgan Stanley project that coal is on its way out, and will be gone from the US market by 2033. And Trump’s help for coal was not enough to counter his help for natural gas. [CleanTechnica]

Sequoia National Forest (Suresh Ramamoorthy, Unsplash)

¶ “Taking The Gloves Off In California Battle Over Oil” • The California oil industry has an 800-pound gorilla reputation of getting pretty much what it wants in Sacramento. But five California legislators are not having it. In no evident mood for pussyfooting around, they have introduced SB 467 to fight dirty and risky oil extraction practices. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ex-Scana CEO Pleads To Fraud Over Failed Reactor Project” • Former Scana Corp CEO Kevin Marsh pleaded guilty to fraud charges tied to a $10 billion nuclear project the South Carolina gas and electric utility abandoned amid soaring costs and construction delays. Marsh admitted to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. [Bloomberg Law]

Have an extraordinarily frolicsome  day.

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February 24 Energy News

February 24, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Solar Panel In Space Is Collecting Energy That Could One Day Be Beamed To Anywhere On Earth” • Scientists working for the Pentagon have successfully tested a satellite solar panel the size of a pizza box, that was designed as a prototype for a future system to send electricity from space back to any point on Earth where it might be needed. [CNN]

Scientists and the solar device (Jonathan Steffen, US Navy)

¶ “Wind Turbine Blades Can Be Recycled” • The wind industry has one of the lowest composite waste rates. Over 85% of the turbine can be recycled, and composite blades are a small part of the overall materials. Despite how little of the negative impact the blades is, the wind industry is taking the problem on with a project called DecomBlades. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Modular Battery System From Xerotech Could Electrify The Construction Equipment Market” • Combining seven variants of modules with a choice of battery cell chemistry, a new “turnkey” modular battery system by Xerotech promises to revolutionize the construction equipment market by offering manufacturers a battery pack for just about everything! [CleanTechnica]

Battery pack (Xerotech image)

World:

¶ “Indian Solar Developer Plans Foray Into Green Hydrogen” • One of India’s leading solar power generation companies, Acme Solar Holdings, announced plans to enter the green hydrogen business. According to a company press release, Acme will partner with French Lhyfe Labs for the production of green hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “E-Tron GT: Audi Wants Us To See The Changes It Has Made” • Audi’s commitment to the latest technology fell behind in recent years, but with the e-tron GT, the company might be on a new path. The e-tron GT is competitive, and it shows Audi is serious about electrification. It has the looks of an Audi, and it is not just following in Tesla’s footsteps. [CleanTechnica]

Audi e-tron GT RS (Audi image)

¶ “188 Environmental Groups Call For An End To Single Use Products” • Disposable products are environmentally extremely harmful, and single use products are key contributors to the 2 billion tons of waste produced every year. Change at the level of leaders and decision-makers is needed, and environmentalists are calling for that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Boom Could Force Coal Power To Close Early, Says New Report” • An analysis of the Australian energy market has found a number of coal-fired power stations could be financially unviable by 2025. The report was by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and advisory firm Green Energy Markets. [ABC News]

Bayswater power station (Hunter Community Environment Centre)

¶ “Construction Set To Begin On Enbridge’s Third Offshore Wind Project In France” • Construction is about to start on the 448-MW Calvados offshore wind project, Enbridge’s third offshore wind farm in France. The project will provide enough energy to power to nearly 300,000 homes in the Normandy region in 2024. [EIN News]

¶ “NTR Acquires Irish Solar And Battery Projects” • NTR has acquired a 54-MW portfolio of co-located solar and battery storage projects in County Wexford, Ireland from renewable energy developer RES. The portfolio has two battery storage projects totaling 25 MW along with 29 MW of solar PV. They will enter operations in 2022. [reNEWS]

NTR solar array (NTR image)

¶ “Green Hydrogen To Power First Zero Carbon Steel Plant” • A new industrial initiative, backed by EIT InnoEnergy, will build the world’s first large-scale steel production plant powered by green hydrogen, in north Sweden. The H2 Green Steel industrial initiative will mobilize €2.5 billion of investment to deliver the green steel project. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australian Coal Company Seeks Large-Scale Renewable Projects To Transition Portfolio” • Stanwell Corporation, an energy company owned by the Queensland Government, has announced that it is seeking expressions of interest from renewable energy projects to incorporate into its fossil-fuel heavy portfolio. [pv magazine International]

Wind turbines (Hans Braxmeier, pixabay)

¶ “Fukushima Poll: 74% Say Nuclear Disaster Work Is Not Promising” • Only 19% of residents in Fukushima Prefecture believe the work to decommission the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is showing “promise” nearly 10 years after the triple meltdown, a survey showed. And 74% said progress is “not promising.”  [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “Regulators Examine Texas Energy Market After Natural Gas Prices Soared 10,000%” • Federal regulators are looking closely at the Texas energy market after natural gas prices rose by up to 10,000% during last week’s deep freeze. They warn that extreme weather will play havoc with energy sources, including natural gas, coal, nuclear, and wind. [CNN]

¶ “Renewable Energy And EVs Are Slowly Happening In Rural Alaska” • When it comes to renewable energy and EVs, there are three very different kinds of Alaska to consider. Cities are like those in other parts of the US. Smaller communities are likely to be on microgrids and are mostly cut off from roads. And then there is the bush. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Puerto Rico Launches First Of Six Calls For Renewables And Storage” • The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has been ordered to procure a total of 3.75 GW of renewables and 1.5 GW of energy storage. Its first RFP is for 1 GW of renewable energy resource capacity and 500 MW, 2 GWh, of energy storage capacity. [pv magazine International]

Have a totally okey-dokey day.

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February 23 Energy News

February 23, 2021

World:

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Build The First Wind Farm In Lâm Đồng Province In Vietnam” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it has been awarded a contract by Ocean Renewable Energy Joint Stock Company to supply a total of 15 of GE’s 4-MW-137 wind turbines for the Cau Dat Wind Farm, Lâm Đồng Province, Vietnam. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “BT And Total Sign A Three-Year Renewable Electricity Deal” • Total Gas & Power will supply BT Group, a telecommunications giant, with 100% renewable electricity after signing a three-year contract. The energy will be from a mix of sources including solar, wind and hydro. Total will provide about half the electricity for BT’s 3,100 sites in the UK. [Total Telecom]

¶ “UK Trade Group Unveils Green Hydrogen Roadmap” • The UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association released a roadmap for green hydrogen deployment. Association members include ITM Power, Anglo American, BOC, Northern Gas Networks, and Rolls Royce. It urged the UK Government to consider the economics of hydrogen on the long term. [reNEWS]

ITM Power energy storage (ITM Power image)

¶ “Broken Devices At Fukushima Plant Fail To Record Vital Quake Data” • Two seismometers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant failed to record data from a powerful earthquake that struck off the coast of the prefecture on February 13, the plant operator said. TEPCO was aware that they were broken but did not repair them. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶ “CIP Unveils Plans For Esbjerg Green Ammonia Plant” • Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners unveiled plans to build Europe’s largest power-to-x facility in Denmark to use offshore windpower to make green ammonia. CIP said the plant will have a 1 GW electrolyzer and that the ammonia will be used as both as agricultural fertiliser and as fuel. [reNEWS]

Port of Esbjerg, the plant site (Port of Esbjerg image)

India:

¶ “India To Offer Solar Manufacturers Incentives Of $640 Million” • India’s solar power sector is heavily dependent on imports, with up to 90% of solar modules in India being sourced from China. To address that issue, the Indian government has announced a $640 million incentive program for solar cell and module manufacturers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Indian State Auctions 6.4 GW Of Solar At 3.68¢ Per kWh” • The Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh auctioned 6.4 GW of solar power capacity under a recent tender. Industry watchers were surprised as developers offered to set up as much as 14.3 GW of capacity, with bids that ranged from ₹2.47 to ₹2.58 (3.52¢ to 3.68¢) per kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in India (Epagemakerwiki, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Fresh Trouble For Indian Solar Developers As Utilities Dishonor Auction Results” • A power distribution company in the Indian state of Gujarat asked the state regulator not to approve tariffs of 700 MW of solar power projects it had auctioned last year. The basis of this plea is the 40% drop in tariff bids that has happened since the auction. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Flood Risk Is Growing For US Homeowners Due To Climate Change. Current Insurance Rates Greatly Underestimate The Threat, A Report Finds” • A report finds that homes covered by the  National Flood Insurance Program face losses each year dwarf the costs of their NFIP premiums. The premiums cover only about a fifth of the average cost. [CNN]

Flood (SC National Guard, public domain)

¶ “Texas Is Still Reeling From Devastating Winter Storms And For Some, Recovery Could Take Months” • While state officials work to turn the lights back on for those Texas households that are still in the dark and to address widespread water disruptions, some residents are faced with damage that could take weeks – or months – to recover from. [CNN]

¶ “Aptera Is Going Gangbusters” • Aptera, the company making a super-efficient electric vehicle with ranges up to 1000 miles, had some great news to report as it pushes toward production later this year or early the next. Orders are still piling in, and investors (including a prominent automotive expert) are putting cash into the company. [CleanTechnica]

Aptera (Image courtesy of Aptera)

¶ “Biggest Oil Refinery Cleanup In US History Begins” • On June 21, 2019, part of a refinery in Philadelphia blew up. With that, the Philadelphia Energy Solutions facility, the largest oil refinery on the US east coast, was closed permanently. Now plans are afoot to clean up the site, a process that will take at least a decade and cost a billion dollars or more. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford Powerboost Hybrids Saved Some Texas Families” • One unforeseen benefit has come from the introduction of hybrids to the pickup truck segment. The hybrids’ generator capability literally saved lives in Texas recently, and it will probably happen again with electric trucks. The F150, for example, has various generator options. [CleanTechnica]

Power plugs of an F150 Powerboost (Image courtesy of Ford)

¶ “US Coal Capacity Factor Dropped From 67.1% In 2010 To 47.5% In 2019” • CleanTechnica has documented the significant drop in coal power capacity across the country in recent years. But it is important to note that the coal capacity that still remains online is being put to use less and less. It is an interesting trend as we watch the decline of coal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hawaii Electric Blows Past 2020 Target On Road To 100% Renewable Energy” • Hawaii’s largest utility, Hawaiian Electric, says it has blown past its mandated 2020 renewable energy target, reporting that 34.5% of its electricity generation mix was made up of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. The goal for the year was 30%. [RenewEconomy]

Have a fundamentally stellar day.

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February 22 Energy News

February 22, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Texas GOP Attacks AOC With False Claims … For Trying To Help Texans, Americans, And The World” • Texas’ GOP Chair, Allen West, rather than working to help Texans in a time of dire need, decided to switch the issue. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised $2 million for Texans, so he attacked her and clean energy with falsehoods. [CleanTechnica]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (nrkbeta, Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “In Face Of Global Warming, The Climate Scepticism Of The UK Press Is Finally Starting To Melt” • The new green face paint of the British press is not just based on public opinion. It also responds to new Government policy. Downing Street is working hard to bring the Tory press in line with Boris Johnson’s strategy for a “green industrial revolution.” [iNews]

¶ “Texas Gov’t Just “Decided 60% Of The Population Wouldn’t Get Power For A Few Days”” • It’s been a crazy week of snow, ice, rolling blackouts, and sadness all across the South, but especially in Texas. The government of Texas looks like it mismanaged the grid completely. It even looks like it is intentionally freezing the state’s poor. [CleanTechnica]

Deep freeze (Hunter Gascon, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “India May Have Already Passed Peak Coal” • A recent report says India may have passed peak coal share in its electricity mix. Energy think tank Ember reports that the share of coal-based electricity has been on the decline since 2018. In 2020, the share of coal power declined by 5%, taking the total decline in its share since 2018 to 8%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Daimler Considering Early End Of ICE Vehicle Production” • Daimler has said it wants to have a CO₂-free fleet by 2039, but it now looks like it could end internal combustion engine vehicle production as much as eight years early. GM recently set a target of 100% EV sales by 2035 and Ford set a target of 100% passenger EV sales in Europe by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes EQC Electric (Daimler/Mercedes-Benz image)

¶ “Nearly 30 GW Of New Wind Energy Capacity Was Auctioned In H2 Of 2020” • According to new analysis by GWEC Market Intelligence in its latest quarterly update, nearly 30 GW of new wind power capacity was awarded globally through auctions in the second half of 2020. This is an increase from the 28 GW awarded during H2 2019. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Indian Cell Manufacturer Plans New 1-GW Cell And Module Line” • Efforts by the Indian government to promote domestic solar cell and module manufacturing are now getting responses from companies. Premier Energies announced plans to invest ₹4.8 billion ($68 million) in a PV manufacturing line with 1 GW of annual production capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Premier Energies ad (Premier Energies image)

¶ “Scotland Can Become The Richest Nation Of The British Isles With Our Abundance Of Renewables” • In a comprehensively researched report by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s renewable energy potential is shown to be several times greater than its total domestic needs for not just electricity, but also heat, transport, and everything else. [The National]

¶ “Shell Foundation And DFC Collaborating To Accelerate Energy Access” • The Shell Foundation, a UK charity, and the International Development Finance Corporation, based in the US, are collaborating to bring affordable renewable energy to more than 5 million people in low-income areas of Africa and Asia by 2025. [ESI Africa]

Light (Pixabay image)

¶ “South Africa’s Taxpayers Exposed To Nuclear Waste Disposal And Decommissioning Liabilities” • Citizens and taxpayers in South Africa may believe that Eskom and the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa, are providing funding to cover the costs of decommissioning and disposal of high-level nuclear waste. But they aren’t. [ESI Africa]

¶ “EDF Powers French Public Transport” • French utility EDF is to supply electricity to state-owned public transport operator RATP from five wind farms in France under a three-year power purchase agreement. EDF will deliver 51 GWh this year and 60 GWh each in 2022 and 2023, representing about 4% of RATP’s consumption. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (EDF image)

US:

¶ “Forecast: Solar Power Over 50% Of US Power Capacity Growth In Next 3 Years” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission expects that slightly more than 50% of new US power capacity in the next 3 years will come from solar power, and that takes just large-scale solar power projects into account, not small-scale or rooftop  installations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Solar plus Powerwall Gives Texan Electricity In Middle Of Blacked Out Neighborhood” • Insurance seems expensive until you need it. And in this, again, a Tesla Powerwall is much like a hardware version of insurance. Here is a story about one household in Texas that paid for the insurance, and the insurance paid off in a time of need. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla shingles, Tesla storage, Tesla car (Tesla image)

¶ “Republicans Eye Federal Funds To Help Pay Exorbitant Energy Bills In Texas” • Reportedly, some Texans whose power stayed now face enormous bills, as private companies capitalize. The New York Times reported that one man in the Dallas suburbs faced an electricity bill for nearly $17,000, 70 times his usual bill for all utilities combined. [The Guardian]

¶ “Natural Gas Companies Have Their Own Plans To Go Low-Carbon” • Fossil fuel companies face an existential threat as more governments and businesses tackle climate change and vow to zero-out carbon emissions. Kim Heiting, senior vice president of operations for NW Natural, says her company’s pipelines can deliver gas that is low carbon. [NPR]

Have a plainly glorious day.

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February 21 Energy News

February 21, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Some Are Claiming Blue Gas Is A Tesla Killer. It’s Not” • Blue gas is gasoline or diesel that is a hydrocarbon fuel manufactured from hydrogen and carbon feedstocks instead of being refined from petroleum. This sounds interesting, but there are several questions that need answers. After some study and analysis, here are the results. [CleanTechnica]

Test tubes (B.Lachner, placed in the public domain)

¶ “Everything About Bitcoin” • Tesla has now invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin and there are a lot of different opinions about that. In fact it’s an entirely new discussion because never before has a company trying to transition the world to sustainable energy embraced an experimental technology whose side effects are so contrary to its mission. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Immense Potential Of Forests To Sequester Carbon” • How much carbon could we eliminate from the atmosphere through better forest management? Is it bad to harvest forests to produce lumber? We sat down with two forestry management and carbon offset program experts to discuss this topic and here is what they had to say. [CleanTechnica]

Forest (Donald Giannatti, Unsplash)

¶ “Climate Change And Record Cold: What’s Behind The Arctic Extremes In Texas” • Climate change has made for warmer winters and heat records that now outnumber cold records by 2 to 1 globally. The historic cold snap may seem counterintuitive, but paradoxically, a warmer climate may have contributed to the extreme cold. [CBS News]

World:

¶ “Petronas CEO Says Important To Diversify Into Renewable Energy” • In a no holds barred interview on the issue, Petroliam Nasional Bhd president and CEO Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz shed some light on how Malaysia’s only Fortune 500 company is gearing up to future proof itself with renewable energy in coming decades. [Malay Mail]

Petronas Tower (Wayne Chew, Unsplash)

¶ “Morocco Shines In The Sky Of Renewable Energy, UN And International Media Say” • Morocco is often cited as an African leader in the field of renewable energy. But in addition to its target to generate 52% of its energy mix from renewable sources by 2030, Morocco plans to cut by 20% its energy consumption by the same year. [The North Africa Post]

¶ “Philippine DOE Requires Solar And Renewable Energy Technologies In Buildings” • Solar photovoltaic and renewable energy technologies are now required in new and existing Philippine buildings after the country’s Department of Energy issued a policy on the adoption of the guidelines of energy conservation. [Inquirer.net]

Manila (Aeron Oracion, Unsplash)

¶ “Government Plans First $500 Million Green Bond To Fund Hydropower Projects” • The government of Pakistan is planning to issue a $500 million green bond in the next few months to help boost its development of hydroelectric power. The bond, denominated in euros, will be the government’s first to fund environmental goals. [Daily Times]

¶ “Post-Fukushima Reactor Halt Produces Inexperienced Plant Workers” • The suspension of nuclear reactors in Japan after the 2011 Fukushima disaster has kept many workers from engaging in plant operations. This resulted in inexperienced employees accounting for nearly a quarter of the workforce at the plants, a Kyodo News tally shows. [The Mainichi]

Inside a cooling tower in a US plant (Jakob Madsen, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Texas To Add 35 GW Of Wind And Solar In Next 3 Years, Boosting Grid Resilience” • A majority of the Texas power plants that failed were thermal. Some wind turbines not equipped for cold also failed, but others produced more than expected. In the next three years, 35 GW of wind turbines and 26 GW of batteries are set to be added to the Texas grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas Weather: President Biden Declares Major Disaster” • President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster in Texas, clearing the way for more federal funds to be spent on relief efforts there. Power is returning across Texas and temperatures are set to rise, but at least 14 million people still have difficulty accessing clean water. [BBC]

Texas cold (Thomas Park, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Owners Rallying To Provide Aid To Austin” • The Del Valle area, where the Austin Gigafactory is being built, is rather poor. Many of the grocery stores are low on food as it is, but this community is even more badly affected since food and water supplies are so low. So the Tesla community is stepping up to help with a relief fund. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Big Gas Cashes In On ‘Jackpot’ As Millions Of People Freeze” • Comstock Resources Inc is a shale driller operating in Louisiana and Texas. Roland Burns, its President and CFO, had this to say about the tragedy that hit Texas: “[T]his week is like hitting the jackpot.” Journalist Richard Wilson made a video showing how shockingly big that jackpot is. [CleanTechnica]

Have an enduringly cheerful day.

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February 20 Energy News

February 20, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Why Bitcoin Truly Is Bad For The Climate And Environment, And Counter To Tesla’s Mission” • CleanTechnica has long praised Tesla’s sustainable energy mission. That makes it all the harder to admit that Elon Musk’s recent decision to back energy-intensive bitcoin is a massive mistake, and a sharp turn away from Tesla’s core mission. [CleanTechnica]

Computers (Photo by Massimo Botturi on Unsplash)

¶ “Power Outages In Texas And California Have Less In Common Than You Think” • Over the past few days, I have been glued to my screen reading about the Texas power outages to try to make sense of what went wrong. On the surface, the power outages in Texas and look like those last summer in California. But there are revealing differences. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas’s Energy System Failed. Here’s How It Could Succeed” • What happened in Texas should be a wake-up call for our entire nation. What happened in February 2021 in the Lone Star State must spur elected officials, regulators and utility companies across the country to build a better and more resilient energy system. [Environment Maine]

Failed natural gas plant (Image courtesy of Entergy, cropped)

Science and Technology:

¶ “NREL Advances In Battery Research With Physics-Based Machine Learning ” • Energy storage scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory are turning to cutting-edge machine-learning techniques to strengthen understanding of cell designs, advanced battery materials, and chemistries. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla’s Complicated And Special History In China” • China has rolled out the proverbial red carpet for Tesla. For example, last February, every automaker was forced to shut down operations to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but Chinese authorities went to great lengths to help Tesla get back into production mode as quickly as it could. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y web page in China (Screenshot)

¶ “Morocco Invests $5.8 Billion In Renewable Energy” • Morocco announced that it will invest $5.8 billion in renewable energy. Major solar projects are underway in its cities, and the country is looking to meet over 52% of its electric energy needs through renewable resources by 2030, as well as to become self-sufficient in the long haul. [Brazil-Arab News Agency]

¶ “EDP Creates Units To Exploit Green Hydrogen And Energy Storage” • The EDP Group, Energias de Portugal, launched two new business units. The H2 Business Unit will be EDP’s new arm for developing green hydrogen projects, and a dedicated storage unit within EDPR aims to achieve a storage capacity of 1 GW in five years. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind turbine in Portugal (JCNazza, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Mainstream Renewable Power To Explore Green Hydrogen With Chilean Wind And Solar Projects” • Norway’s Acker Clean Hydrogen signed a letter of intent with Green energy group Mainstream Renewable Power to explore development of green hydrogen. The effort will use power from 1 GW of wind and solar projects Mainstream has in Chile. [PV-Tech]

¶ “Eni Targets 60 GW Of Renewables By 2050” • Eni has set out a strategy to increase its renewables capacity to 4 GW in 2024, 15 GW in 2030 and 60 GW in 2050. The move forms part of the Italian oil and gas producer’s target to be carbon neutral by 2050. It will merge its gas and power retail and renewable businesses as part of the plan. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Unsplash image)

¶ “Post-Quake Water Leaks Indicate Further Damage At the Fukushima nuclear power plant” • After the powerful earthquake that hit the area near Fukushima nuclear power plant last weekend, cooling water levels have fallen in two reactors at the wrecked plant, indicating possible additional damage, according to TEPCO, its operator. [Daily Sabah]

US:

¶ “GM Banks On Free Electric Vehicle Charging Stations To Sell New Chevy Bolt EUVs” • Earlier this week, GM slapped images of its splashy new 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV onto the digital displays of hundreds of free electric vehicle charging stations across the US. With ads like this, GM might just make the EV experience feel as American as apple pie. [CleanTechnica]

Volta EV charging station (photo via Volta)

¶ “Edmunds Says 2021 Will Have Record US EV Sales” • A couple weeks ago, Edmunds predicted that 2021 would be a record year for electric vehicle sales, rising from 1.9% of sales in 2020 to an estimated 2.5% this year. One of the big drivers of the bump in sales is the availability of more models to sell to a wider range of consumer tastes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Abandoned Wells Are A Lingering Environmental Issue” • There are a huge number of abandoned oil and gas wells in the US. These wells, many of them uncapped, are potential sources of methane pollution. Pennsylvania has 300,000 to 760,000 of the abandoned wells, various estimates say, possibly 15% of the country’s total number. [Observer-Reporter]

Plugged gas well (Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association)

¶ “Indiana House Approves Bills Regulating Siting, Taxing of Renewables” • Two bills laying the groundwork for the future of renewable energy in Indiana are advancing in the Indiana state Legislature. If they become law, the bills will establish the first state regulations for siting and taxing solar and wind generating systems. [Indiana Environmental Reporter]

¶ “People’s United Forms Renewable Energy Lending Specialty” • People’s United Bank, which has branches in five New England states and New York, formed a corporate banking specialization that will focus in part on the renewable energy industry. One aim of the system will be promoting renewable energy, especially windpower. [Banker & Tradesman]

Have a downright ducky day.

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February 19 Energy News

February 19, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Lies, Damned Lies, And Greg Abbott” • While people were suffering and even dying in Texas, Governor Abbott was on Fox News talking to Sean Hannity about the situation. He said the Green New Deal would be a “deadly deal” for the US, and blamed renewables for the shortfall. But renewables aren’t to blame for what happened in Texas. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Alessandro Stigliani, Unsplash)

¶ “Is Renewable Energy A Threat To Grid Resilience?” • In the wake of the crippling cold, ice, and snow that hit Texas, media personalities, politicians, and influencers have tried to shift blame to overreliance on renewable energy in the state rather than address the real causes of the major electric power failure of the state’s grid. [Transmission & Distribution World]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Eco-Friendly Cruise Ships To Be Powered By Sails” • French shipyard Chantiers de l’Atlantique is planning to construct cruise ships topped by striking 80 meter “eco-friendly” paneled sails, made of fiberglass and carbon. The Solid Sail/AeolDrive concept would reduce cruise emissions by up to 50%, according to the shipyard. [CNN]

Cruise ship (Courtesy of Chantiers de l’Atlantique)

World:

¶ “A New UN Report Urges A Radical Shift In The Way We Think About Nature” • The UN released a report on the health of the planet that proposes a radical shift in the way we think about it. The report, “Making Peace with Nature,” argues that amid our pursuit of wealth and security, humans must now learn to value the Earth’s basic “natural capital.” [CNN]

¶ “The Search Widens For Hot Rocks That Provide Power” • The Earth’s core is almost as hot as the sun. That heat slowly comes up to its surface. There are about 600 geothermal plants around the world in operation or being built, with another 600 being planned, according to Alex Richter, former president of the International Geothermal Association. [BBC]

Steamboat geothermal plant (ThinkGeoEnergy, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “£6 Per Month Service For MG Electric Vehicles” • EVs are far less expensive to operate than their counterparts powered by fossil fuels. MG is making this clear by offering a full service plan for electric models in the UK at just £6 a month. So a driver can maintain a vehicle for a small fraction of the cost of drinking a daily cup of coffee. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SolarEdge Technologies To Supply EV Powertrain And Battery For Fiat E-Ducato” • SolarEdge has an e-Mobility division that develops end-to-end power systems for EVs and hybrid. The company announced that it has been chosen to supply the full electric powertrain units and batteries for Fiat’s E-Ducato light commercial vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

Fiat E-Ducato (Image courtesy of Stellantis)

¶ “Facebook Expands Program To Fight Climate Lies” • Facebook is expanding the geographic reach of its recently launched online portal to counter misinformation about climate change, and will take steps to steer users of the platform toward those resources. The move is controversial, and many climate activists say that Facebook has not gone far enough. [Axios]

¶ “Japanese Oil Company Plans $10,000 Micro EV” • Japan has always embraced tiny kei cars for use in its crowded cities. Now Idemitsu Kosan, a petroleum refiner, plans to launch an extra-tiny EV next year at its 6,400 petrol stations via a joint venture with private automaker Tajima Motor Corporation, according to a report by Reuters. [CleanTechnica]

Idemitsu EV (Image courtesy of Tajima EV)

¶ “Government Ordered To Compensate Fukushima Evacuees” • The Tokyo High Court has ordered the Japanese government to compensate people who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture after the 2011 nuclear disaster. The decision reverses the Chiba District Court’s ruling that ordered only the plant’s operator, TEPCO, to pay damages. [NHK World]

US:

¶ “Tesla Cuts Price Of Model Y SR By $2,000 In US” • Tesla seems not to tell people anything any more, but the prices of Tesla models may have been reduced. One person thinking about the possible purchase of a Tesla Model Y SR went online yesterday and discovered that the price for US customers had magically dropped by $2,000. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y price (Screenshot)

¶ “Harnessing The Power Of Battery RD&D To Battle Climate Change” • Two of the most powerful strategies for the US to tackle climate change are accelerating clean power generation and electrifying transportation. The success of these strategies depends on an element they share: it depends on advancements in battery technologies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ignoring Pandemic, Americans Installed Record Amounts Of Solar And Wind Energy” • The US added a record amount of wind and solar energy in 2020 despite Covid-19, figures from BloombergNEF and Business Council for Sustainable Energy show. Wind and solar power installations soared 61% over 2019, with 33.6 GW added to the grid. [CBS News]

Solar system (Chelsea, Unsplash)

¶ “As The US Rejoins The Paris Climate Accord, Fox News Ramps Up Its Climate Misinformation Campaign” • When President Joe Biden sent a letter to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, Fox News, along with a coterie of right-wing politicians and fossil fuel industry shills, took to dominating the conversation with their denouncements. [Media Matters for America]

¶ “Texas Nuclear Unit Returns To Service After Outage Related To Cold Weather” • STP Nuclear Operating Co’s 1,312-MW South Texas Unit 1 is coming back online after a reactor trip. The trip was the result of a low water level in the steam generator. This happened because two feedwater pumps would not function in the recent extreme cold. [S&P Global]

Have an incomparably lovely day.

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February 18 Energy News

February 18, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “World’s Upside Down Weather Causing Chaos” • A “wobble” in the weather has turned a chunk of the world’s climate upside down, leading to the bizarre situation where it is far colder in Texas than it is in Alaska. A temperature anomaly map from the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute vividly reveals the peculiar situation. [NEWS.com.au]

Temperature anomaly map (University of Maine)

¶ “Weather Messed With Texas – And Your Town May Be Next” • There’s really only one clear lesson to be drawn from the cold weather and power outages in Texas, which is that in an era of climate change, extreme-weather disasters are getting more common and more costly. We need an infrastructure upgrade to deal with coming disasters. [Politico]

¶ “Texas: Grids, Blackouts, And Green New Deals” • The failure of the electricity grid in Texas and the blackouts in the Midwest, are more consequences of climate breakdown. The root problem is that the Arctic is growing warmer. As it does so, paradoxically, there is less of a barrier preventing very cold weather in the far north from moving south. [The Ecologist]

Frozen lake in Texas (©Luke Verboski via Twitter)

World:

¶ “Ford Is Investing $1 Billion In Germany As It Goes Electric In Europe” • Ford is spending $1 billion to modernize a German plant part of a plan to sell only electric passenger cars in Europe. Ford said its Cologne factory will be overhauled to produce its first European-built, mass volume, all-electric passenger vehicle starting in 2023. [CNN]

¶ “Maersk Has Found A Way To Clean Up Shipping But There’s A Catch” • Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, says it will launch the world’s first carbon-neutral cargo ship in 2023. It said the ship will operate on methanol produced from renewables or sustainable biomass. But it may not be able to get enough carbon-neutral methanol, for now. [CNN]

Maersk container ship (Andrey Sharpilo, Unsplash)

¶ “Johnson Controls Joins Climate Pledge For Net-Zero Carbon Emissions By 2040” • Johnson Controls, a maker of fire, HVAC, and security equipment for buildings, has joined The Climate Pledge. Having done so, it is committed to reaching net-zero carbon emission by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement goal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volta Trucks Picks Proterra For Batteries” • Volta Trucks, the new British commercial electric truck startup, has decided to get its vehicle batteries from Proterra, which just opened a next-gen battery production factory in California in December. The Volta Zero, designed for inner city freight distribution, will have a range of 125 miles. [CleanTechnica]

Volta Zero electric truck (Volta Trucks image)

¶ “Twenty New Companies Join The Climate Pledge” • Amazon and Global Optimism announced that 20 new signatories around the world have joined The Climate Pledge. Now, 53 companies representing 18 industries and based in 12 countries have pledged to working toward net-zero CO₂ emissions in their worldwide businesses. [Galveston County Daily News]

¶ “Limejump Adds 170 MW Of Renewables PPAs” • Limejump, part of Shell’s Renewables & Energy Solutions division, has added 170 MW of renewables capacity to its virtual power plant through PPAs since the start of the year. Limejump manages one of the largest virtual power plants in the UK, with over 1 GW of renewable capacity. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Limejump image)

US:

¶ “Texas Grid Was ‘Minutes’ From Failing, Lawmaker Says” • As of Wednesday evening, about 2.3 million people in Texas have had no power in frigid weather for days. As the state’s lawmakers blame at the power company and called for investigations, one US Congressman says company officials told him they had been minutes away from total grid collapse. [CNN]

¶ “Clean Cars Nevada Program Will Be A Big Win For Nevadans” • Nevada’s efforts to adopt a Clean Cars Nevada program will win big, an independent consultant report says. The report shows that the program will lead to a jackpot of savings to new vehicle owners, avoid millions of tons of climate pollution annually, and help improve public health. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada (Tesla image)

¶ “Tesla Superchargers Leave Competitors ‘In The Dust,’ Harvard Business Review Writes” • There are many ways to charge electric vehicles on road trips. The Tesla solution was to create its own proprietary charging network. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review says, “Tesla’s charging stations [have] left other manufacturers in the dust.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Two Transit Systems Increase Electrification Commitments” • This month, New Flyer of America did some brisk business with Westchester County, Minnesota, and King County, Washington. In one deal, the company added 20 new battery-electric buses to an existing contract, and in the other order they sold 66 hybrid-electric buses. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus (Image courtesy of New Flyer)

¶ “Michigan Renewable Energy More Resilient To Cold Than Frozen Texas Wind Turbines” • In Texas, Republican lawmakers are blaming the wind turbines for power outages. Experts are saying natural gas is more to blame. Here in Michigan, we use both natural gas and wind turbines to power our homes, and we have been going without outages. [ABC 12 News]

¶ “Grid Losing As Much Generation As It’s Gaining As Power Shortages Continue, ERCOT Says” • In Texas, about 45,000 MW of generating capacity were offline on Tuesday. That was mostly natural gas, coal and nuclear, grid operator ERCOT said. Many of the state’s wind turbines failed because they were not fitted for cold weather. [Houston Chronicle]

Have an unapologetically amazing day.

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February 17 Energy News

February 17, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “What Would Planting 100 Million Trees Per Week Do In 5, 50, And 500 Years?” • A trillion trees, low-tillage agriculture, and a sustainable economy would mean that in about 500 years we would have the level of CO₂ about where we want to keep it, probably around 300 ppm. But simply planting a lot of trees will not be enough. [CleanTechnica]

Dead trees in California (Nathan Stephenson, USGS, cropped)

¶ “The Texas Power Disaster May Be The Strongest Case Yet For Renewable Energy” • During the ice storm, windpower met what is typically required of it at this time of year. The majority of the outages were at the portions of the Texas grid that rely on natural gas, coal, and nuclear, which make up more than two-thirds of power generation during winter. [MarketWatch]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Icebergs Really Melt – And What This Could Mean For Climate Change” • Icebergs are melting faster than current models describe, according to a new study by mathematicians at the University of Sydney. The researchers there have proposed a new model to represent more accurately the speed of melting ice from icebergs into oceans. [Science Daily]

Antarctic iceberg (Long Ma, Unsplash)

¶ “Heating Arctic May Be To Blame For Snowstorms In Texas, Scientists Argue” • Associating climate change with the winter storm that crippled much of Texas seems counterintuitive. But scientists say there is evidence that the rapid heating of the Arctic can help push frigid air from the north pole much further south, possibly deep into Texas. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “Alstom Buys Bombardier” • Alstom, a major French rolling stock manufacturer, completed its acquisition of Bombardier Transportation. It seems that Bombardier rolled out the first hybrid trains in the world in 2007. Now it is starting to convert the hybrid trains to be fully electric. Alstom’s acquisition of it is based on sustainability goals. [CleanTechnica]

Electric train (Image courtesy of Bombardier)

¶ “Plugin Hybrids Surprise In The Netherlands In 2021 – EV Sales Report” • After the usual end-of-year sales rush in the last days of 2020, one would imagine January would bring a big hangover for the Dutch plugin market … but it turns out, it hasn’t, because sales in January grew 40% year over year! The overall market is still down 21%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Michelin Picks French Startup NEOLINE To Offer Carbon-Free Shipping” • The Michelin Group recently signed a transport commitment with NEOLINE, a French startup that provides decarbonized shipping services. This new commitment reflects Michelin’s goal for doing its part to reduce CO₂ emissions from its logistic operations. [CleanTechnica]

Wind-powered ship (© Mauric, via NEOLINE media kit)

¶ “India Could Get $500 Billion As Investments In Renewable Energy Sector By 2030: Report” • A report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis estimates that India may see investments of around $500 billion in the renewables sector for the country to achieve its target of 450 GW of capacity by 2030, MoneyControl reports. [Swarajya]

¶ “Statkraft And Aquila Sign Spanish Solar PPA” • Statkraft and Aquila Capital signed their first PPA in Spain. It is for a 50-MW solar plant in Andalusia, and it was signed on behalf of an Aquila client. The five-year PPA starts in 2022 with an innovative price structure in which Aquila Capital provides 100% green electricity to Statkraft at competitive prices. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Texas Produces More Power Than Any Other State. Here’s Why It Went Dark Anyway” • A deep freeze this week in Texas, which relies on electricity to heat many homes, is causing power demand to rise greatly. At the same time, natural gas, coal, wind, and nuclear facilities in Texas have been knocked offline by the unthinkably low temperatures. [CNN]

¶ “US Conservatives Falsely Blame Renewables For Texas Storm Outages” • Conservative commentators  are blaming renewable power for the Texas power outages. While some wind turbines did freeze, failures in natural gas, coal and nuclear energy caused nearly twice as many outages as renewables, according to Ercot, the state’s grid operator. [The Guardian]

Dallas, 2021 (Matthew T Rader, MatthewTRader.com, CC-BY-SA)

¶ “Hawaii Island At 43.4% Renewable Energy” • Hawaiian Electric says its renewable portfolio standard on Hawaiʻi island is up by nearly 10 percentage points this year. Hawaiʻi island hit 43.4% for the year 2020, compared to 34.7% in 2019. The company also says it has more than tripled clean energy in 10 years, primarily with solar and windpower. [Big Island Video News]

¶ “As Vermont Nears 75% Renewable Power, Advocates Question If It’s Clean Enough” • On paper, Vermont has one of the cleanest electric grids in the country. About 66% of the state’s electricity came from renewables in 2019, the most recent year for which final numbers are available. And yet, there are questions about whether it is good enough. [Energy News Network]

Hydro dam (Pexels image)

¶ “Area Sees Outages As Energy Supply Runs Short” • The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission says the demand for power this week is at an all-time high. As temperatures range from below zero to single digits, the supply of non-renewable power is running short. That’s why several South Dakotans saw their power go out on Tuesday. [Kotatv]

¶ “Fredericksburg Takes Steps Toward More Renewable Energy” • Fredericksburg officials have taken a significant step toward a goal of operating the city completely on renewable energy by 2035. They are requesting proposals and consulting with the Virginia state officials on how best to negotiate with an energy services company. [Fredericksburg.com]

Have an excitingly superior day.

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February 16 Energy News

February 16, 2021

World:

¶ “Autonomous Bus Trial A Success At Tokyo’s Haneda Airport” • BYD has completed a 10-day trial operation of an autonomous driving bus at Tokyo Haneda Airport. BYD partnered with All Nippon Airways, Japan’s largest airline, to complete the trial. The bus, which is BYD’s first autonomous-driving bus, will next be put into daily operation. [CleanTechnica]

BYD autonomous bus (BYD image)

¶ “Volkswagen Tries To Catch Up On Autonomy With Microsoft” • Volkswagen has announced that it is teaming up with Microsoft to “advance its self-driving vehicle technologies.” Microsoft will collaborate with Volkswagen’s Car.Software arm on a cloud-based automated driving platform. Volkswagen said that this will allow for faster fleet integration. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “You Can Now Get The Ora R1 In Ghana” • One of the highly competitive EVs is Great Wall Motors’ Ora R1, also known as the Black Cat. It has a 33-kWh battery pack and a 35-kW motor for a 220 km (137 mile) range, as measured by the WLTP. The good news is that these small city EVs are starting to find their way to Africa very quickly. [CleanTechnica]

Great Wall R1 EV (Courtesy of Great Wall Motors)

¶ “BP And Chevron Just Invested In Technology That Could Transform Renewable Energy” • BP and Chevron have expanded into geothermal energy, betting on a technology that could make plants using the natural heat of the Earth scalable for the first time. They put $40 million into Eavor, a geothermal energy firm based in Calgary. [MarketWatch]

¶ “GE Bags 753-MW Swedish Turbine Order” • GE Renewable Energy has secured a 753-MW turbine order for the Onusberget wind project in Sweden, which is being developed by Luxcara. Onusberget will be equipped with 137 of GE’s Cypress onshore wind turbines, each with a capacity of 5.5 MW and a 158 meter rotor. Installation will start this year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Engie Inks Renewables Deal With Orange France” • Engie and Orange have signed a corporate power purchase agreement that will see the communication provider’s electricity supply met by wind and solar capacity in France. During the PPA’s 15-year period, it will also include two new solar projects totaling 51 MW in France. [reNEWS]

¶ “Winch Energy Raises Funds For PV Mini-Grids Rollout” • The off-grid utilities provider Winch Energy completed the funding for solar mini-grid projects in 49 villages in Uganda and Sierra Leone with a new PV mini-grid design. Portable batteries will also be provided so people outside of the mini-grid catchment area will have access to clean electricity. [reNEWS]

Winch Energy PV and battery system (Winch Energy image)

¶ “Nuclear faces ‘a lot of uncertainty’ as EU green evaluation looms” • The nuclear industry is growing increasingly nervous about European Commission plans to evaluate the safety of radioactive waste handling as an expert report is expected next month on how to classify nuclear energy under the EU’s green finance taxonomy. [EURACTIV]

US:

¶ “US Oil Rises Above $60 As Texas Gets Pummeled With Ice And Snow” • A rare bout of winter weather in Texas helped move US oil above $60 a barrel for the first time since January 2020. Weather knocked power out in much of Texas, and oil refiner Motiva shut down its Port Arthur Manufacturing Complex, the largest American oil refinery. [CNN]

Palm trees and snow in 2004 (Quietpeoplerock, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Rolling Blackouts In Texas Are Due To Economics, Not Renewables” •  Some people are claiming on social media that rolling blackouts in Texas are caused by wind turbines failing in the cold, and that’s proof that renewables are too unreliable. Actually, its proof that Texas utilities don’t pay for cold-adapted wind turbines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Provide 23% Of US Electricity In November 2020” • While renewable energy has been dominating the new power capacity additions in the United States, it takes a long time to shift the giant electricity grid. Even so, month after month, the share of electricity generated by renewables in the US has been constantly increasing. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Pradeep Ghildiyal, Unsplash)

¶ “77% To 80% Of New US Power Capacity Came From Solar And Wind In 2020” • According to new data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, solar power and wind power accounted for 77.1% of new utility-scale power capacity in the US in 2020. Adding in what CleanTechnica estimates for rooftop solar power capacity, that rises to 80.1%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Longroad To Acquire 900 MW Of Arizona Solar” • Longroad Energy has agreed to acquire solar projects totaling 900 MW (DC) in Arizona. The Sun Streams 2, 4, and 5 projects have the potential for 1-2 GWh of battery storage. Sun Streams 2 is being constructed by McCarthy Building Companies and is expected to be operational in June 2021. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Longroad Energy image)

¶ “Virginia Utility Seeks 300 MW Of Renewables Capacity” • Appalachian Power has issued a request for proposals for up to 300 MW of solar and wind generation resources. It is seeking facilities that are at least 50 MW in size and will be commercially operational by mid-December 2023. More RFPs are expected from Appalachian Power this year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Oklahoma Sees Large Increase In Production Of Renewable Energy Over The Past Decade” • A research study used Energy Information Administration data to calculate the change in renewable energy production in Oklahoma. In 2010, renewables generated only about 10% of the state’s electricity, it found, but that rose to about 40% in 2019. [KGOU]

Have an abundantly admirable day.

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February 15 Energy News

February 15, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Denialism, ‘Doom Porn,’ Deflection And The New Climate War” • The New Climate War is a new book by one of the world’s most famous climate scientists, Michael Mann. At its heart is the assertion that climate change denialism is a spent force and, instead, action is now being hampered by distraction and “doom porn.” [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Dr Michael E Mann in 2013 (Reason4Reason, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

World:

¶ “Transparent Factory In Dresden Now Producing Volkswagen ID.3” • The Volkswagen ID.3 is being produced in Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory in Dresden. This is the fourth Volkswagen Group factory that is producing EVs based on the MEB platform. Together, the two factories in Germany and two in China can produce 900,000 vehicles a year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Ford Mustang Mach-E Buyers Get Big Charging Boost Via BP Pulse Network” • The bp pulse network is reported to be the largest public charging network in the UK. Ford Mustang Mach-E drivers will have free access to the network for one year. The bp pulse network has 6,500 charging stations, and finding them is easy with the FordPass app. [CleanTechnica]

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

¶ “CBA Finances NSW Solar Farm To Help Power 240,000 Homes” • Commonwealth Bank Group is partnering with two other banks to provide financing of $212 million to UPCAC Renewables Australia for a new solar farm in New South Wales. Stage 1 of the New England Solar Farm is expected to have a capacity of 400 MW (AC). [Mirage News]

¶ “Lightsource BP Swoops On 845 MW Of Spanish Solar” • Solar developer Lightsource BP acquired an 845-MW solar portfolio in Spain from Iberia Solar. The five sites are across the regions of Castilla la Mancha and Castilla y Leon. With the new acquisition, Lightsource BP has a total of 2.25 GW of projects in development or under construction in Spain. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Lightsource BP image)

¶ “Greencoat Renewables Acquires Finnish Wind Farm For €60 Million” • Irish renewable infrastructure company Greencoat Renewables said it is to acquire a wind farm in Finland for about €60 million. The 43.2-MW Kokkoneva wind farm is currently under construction and commercial operations are expected in the second quarter of 2022. [The Irish Times]

¶ “South Africa To Launch Three Qualification Cycles For Production Of 6,800 MW Of Renewable Energy” • The South African government is to launch three qualification cycles for a total of 6,800 MW of renewable energy. The first is expected to start in February. It will seek proposals for 2,600 MW of solar and wind power. [Construction Review]

Wind turbines in South Africa (NJR ZA, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “IEA: India Needs $1.4 Trillion Funding For Clean Energy Technologies” • Indian energy demand is growing rapidly. The additional funding for clean energy technologies required to put India on a sustainable path over the next 20 years is $1.4 trillion, according to IEA. But one benefit is a saving on oil imports of the same magnitude. [Greentech Lead]

¶ “Offshore Wind Adds 8 GW In ‘Stellar’ 2020” • Global offshore wind capacity installed in 2020 exceeded 8 GW, beating previous records, according to research from the Renewables Consulting Group. RCG’s database found the total capacity for offshore wind added last year reached 8,370 MW. The previous record of 6,438 MW was set in 2018. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “UK Renewable Energy Sets New Record In 2020” • Last year was a record year for renewable energy in the UK, at almost 42% of the country’s electricity, according to research conducted for Drax Electric Insights. Clean power generated for the first time more electricity than fossil fuels, which accounted for 39.6%, the research said. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Electrify America & Arizona Utility Team Up” • Electrify America’s Electrify Commercial arm will put twenty ultrafast chargers in at five charging stations across Arizona in partnership with Arizona Public Service Company. This is part of a new Take Charge AZ initiative. The stations will help both the state and its drivers reduce their emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Installing chargers

¶ “Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize Drives Recovery Of Spent Batteries” • The US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has launched the third and final phase of the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize with an event introducing the rules and guidelines. The DOE’s goal is to capture 90% of all spent lithium-ion batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden Sets The Stage For An Offshore Wind Energy Boom” • The U-turn of energy policies under the Biden administration sets the stage for a flourishing US offshore wind industry, as the federal government looks to speed up environmental reviews to make offshore wind a significant contributor to the new clean energy goals. [OilPrice.com]

Robin Rigg Wind Farm (Walter Baxter, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Bromley Mountain Ski Resort Announces Plans For New Solar Array” • Encore Renewable Energy, Bromley Mountain Ski Resort, and Tangent Energy Solutions announced plans to develop and build a 615-kW (DC) solar project on land owned by Bromley Mountain in Peru, Vermont. Sunwealth will own and operate the system. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Climate Change Will Exacerbate Flooding In The Columbia River Basin, OSU Study Finds” • Flooding in the Columbia River Basin is expected to increase dramatically in scale over the next half decade as the climate warms, according to new research from Oregon State University. The severity of floods large and small will increase. [Bend Bulletin]

Have a pristinely perfect day.

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February 14 Energy News

February 14, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Using Mathematical Models To Enable Transportation Decarbonization And Combat Climate Change” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Agency for International Development, assessed the potentials for electric transit fleets in two Mexican cities. The study examined combinations of GPS speed traces with electric bus models. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric buses in Santiago, Chile (Courtesy of BYD)

World:

¶ “Tesla To Build An EV Manufacturing Unit In India” • Tesla will set up an electric vehicle manufacturing unit in Karnataka, India, according to The News Minute. Karnataka’s Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa, confirmed this on Saturday and noted that it was part of the list of benefits that were promised to Karnataka in the Union Budget. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Olectra Greentech Limited Wins Order For 350 Electric Buses In India” • This may be the first time we’re writing about Olectra Greentech Limited. And we are writing in regards to some big news. The company has reportedly secured an order for 350 electric buses in India. Their buses, however, will actually be manufactured by BYD. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus (Image courtesy of Olectra Greentech)

¶ “Brookfield Renewable Sees An Opportunity Worth Over $100 Trillion” • In Brookfield Renewables’ fourth-quarter conference call, CEO Connor Teskey spoke of reducing CO₂ emissions and a sustainable future,” he said. “Advancing the transition to a lower-carbon future will require substantial capital, in excess of $100 trillion over the next three decades.” [Motley Fool]

¶ “World’s 1st Zero-Emission Tanker Project Will Use Corvus Energy Storage System” • Corvus Energy was selected to provide an energy storage system to Kawasaki Heavy Industries for the zero-emissions electric e5 tanker it is building. It will be the first battery-powered tanker in the world. It is under construction for Tokyo’s Asahi Tanker Co. [CleanTechnica]

Asahi Tanker Co e5 tanker (Courtesy of e5 Lab Inc)

¶ “Water Overflows From Spent Nuclear Fuel Pools At Japan Nuclear Power Plant” • Water overflowed from the pools where spent nuclear fuel is stored at both of the Fukushima nuclear power plants operated by TEPCO, as a result of the earthquake that struck off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, according to the Nuclear Regulation Authority. [The Japan News]

US:

¶ “Charts: A Decade Of Cost Declines For US Solar PV Systems” • The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory published its US Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Cost Benchmark: Q1 2020, documenting a decade of cost reductions in solar and battery storage installations across utility, commercial, and residential sectors. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Dalhousie University’s Jeff Dahn Announces Renewed Partnership With Tesla” • Dalhousie University’s Office of Research Services shared a video of Jeff Dahn, a professor of physics and atmospheric science. Dahn is involved in a research partnership with Tesla, to create better lithium-ion batteries. He announced new chairs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy Transfer Creates Business To Expand In Renewables” • The Dallas-based pipeline operator Energy Transfer LP said it formed a new business to develop alternative energy products as part of an ongoing effort to reduce its environmental footprint. The new operation will focus on renewable energy projects such as solar and wind farms. [Natural Gas Intelligence]

Wind turbine (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)

¶ “Interior Department Issues Environmental Review Of Crimson Solar Project Near Blythe” • The US Bureau of Land Management has restarted the permitting process for a solar farm in eastern Riverside County, California, issuing the final environmental impact statement for the 2,500 acre, 350-MW Crimson Solar Project. [The Desert Sun]

¶ “These ‘Science Moms’ Are Worried About Their Kids’ Future – And They Want To Help Other Parents Take Climate Change Action” • If you’re a new mom or dad, it’s often helpful to make use of expertise of other parents. There’s now a group of moms who want to be an expert resource on climate change. It’s called “Science Moms,” [Colorado Public Radio]

Research scientist Melissa Burt, camping with
her daughter Mia (Courtesy of Melissa Burt)

¶ “Rep Schofield Seeks 100% Clean, Renewable Energy In Georgia” • The State of Georgia has finally joined the national conversation around transitioning to a 100% clean, renewable energy portfolio, with the introduction of House Resolution 70 by State Rep Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta). HR 70 is co-sponsored by 29 House Members. [Atlanta Progressive News]

¶ “Solar project brings more renewable energy to Webster County” • Iowa is not usually thought of as a solar energy hotbed, but Holliday Creek Solar LLC of Minneapolis announced plans for an array of solar panels on 957 acres near Fort Dodge. When completed, the site will generate enough electricity to supply 30,000 homes. [Fort Dodge Messenger]

Have a consummately gleeful day.

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February 13 Energy News

February 13, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sacred Cow Documentary Makes An Argument For Better Meat” • The documentary “Sacred Cow” explores the ways that ruminants and well-raised meat can play an important role in solving our climate crisis. The film argues that the real threat to our climate and health is industrially processed food, and cows can have important benefits. [CleanTechnica]

Highland cow (James Toose, Unsplash)

¶ “Utility-Scale Batteries And Pumped Storage Return About 80% Of The Electricity They Store” • In 2019, the US pumped-storage facilities operated with an average monthly round-trip efficiency of 79%, and the utility-scale battery fleet had an average monthly round-trip efficiency of 82%, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coca-Cola Company Trials First Paper Bottle” • Coca-Cola is to test a paper bottle as step toward eliminating plastic from its packaging entirely. The prototype is made by a Danish company from an extra-strong paper shell that still has a thin plastic liner. But the goal is to create a 100% recyclable, plastic-free bottle that can keep the carbonation from escaping. [BBC]

Paper bottle (Coca-Cola image)

World:

¶ “Demand For Brazil’s Solar PV Module Almost Reached 4 GW In 2020” • A recent report from Greener, a Brazilian consultancy, showed that Brazil imported 4.76 GW of PV module capacity last year. Domestic PV module producers had a minor market share at 3.8%, with approximately 190 MW of the solar modules that were shipped in the year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Unveils World’s Most Powerful Offshore Wind Turbine” • Vestas, the Danish wind turbine company, announced that it has developed a new offshore wind turbine designed specifically for use in typhoon-prone areas. The company’s V236-15.0 MW will produce 15 MW of electricity, the highest output of any wind turbine in the world. [CleanTechnica]

Vestas wind turbine (Vestas Image)

¶ “Wind Industry Responds To Ramaphosa’s Commitment To Renewable Power” • The South African Wind Energy Association, has issued a statement of support for President Ramaphosa’s firm commitment to South Africa’s renewable energy procurement program, which he confirmed in his State of the Nation Address last night. [ESI Africa]

¶ “BYD Lands First Electric Fleet Order In Romania” • BYD reached another landmark in its ongoing expansion in Europe. In January, BYD confirmed its first fleet order of nine pure-electric BYD 12-meter buses in Romania. The Municipality of Buzău placed the order, and Transbus Buzău will operate the new electric buses. [CleanTechnica]

BYD 12 meter bus

¶ “Damage And Crack Found Around Circumference Of Koeberg Power Station” • A utility report reveals that the concrete of the containment buildings at South Africa’s Koeberg Nuclear Power Station has been damaged by 40 years of exposure to sea air. The concrete containment dome was found to have cracked around the entire 110-meter circumference. [CapeTown ETC]

US:

¶ “EVgo Adding 400+ Tesla Connectors At Its EV Fast Charging Stations” • EVgo is expanding its offering so Tesla drivers can charge at more of its stations. It is upgrading hundreds of them with Tesla connectors. EVgo is the only EV charging platform that has both 100% renewable electricity and connectors for all three fast-charging standards. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla at EVgo charging station (EVgo image)

¶ “Tesla And GM Could Get 400,000 More $7,000 Tax Credits” • Congressional Democrats introduced the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now Act. If passed, it will help both Tesla and GM by adding 400,000 units that qualify for each. Tesla and GM have already sold too many cars for their customers to benefit from the old credits. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scientists And Law Professors Urge Biden To Pull Unlawful Endangered Species Act Rules” • Leading scientists and law professors petitionedsd President Joe Biden today to rescind key policies that restrict the government’s consideration of harm to endangered animals by greenhouse gas emissions under the Endangered Species Act. [Harvard Law School News]

Small turtle (Massimo Negrello, Unsplash)

¶ “Intel Commits To Clean Energy With Portland General Electric” • Intel has signed a 15-year agreement with Portland General Electric to develop the Daybreak Solar facility, which will produce a significant portion of the energy needed to power Intel’s advanced technology development and manufacturing facilities in Hillsboro, Oregon. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Bluebird Backcountry To Be Fully Powered By Renewable Energy” • In Colorado, Bluebird Backcountry is pushing the boundaries that define traditional ski areas. For one thing, they operate with no lifts. Now, they’re adding energy to the list of things they do differently, using Elevated Independent Energy’s SPOT mobile solar units for electricity. [SNEWS]

Bluebird’s SPOT units (Screenshot via Pinit)

¶ “Lawmaker Withdraws Wind Tax Bill Aimed At Helping Coal Plants” • A lawmaker who introduced a bill that would add a new tax on North Dakota wind farms and give the revenue collected to coal-fired power plants has withdrawn the legislation to avoid causing anxiety or uncertainty in the search for a new owner for Coal Creek Station. [Bismarck Tribune]

¶ “Montana Senate Panel OKs Study To Convert Colstrip Coal Plant To Nuclear” • A Montana Senate Committee okayed a bill to see whether it is possible to turn one of the West’s largest coal plants into a nuclear plant. The bill requests an interim study on the feasibility of replacing coal-fired boilers at the Colstrip power plant with small modular reactors. [S&P Global]

Have a triumphantly worthwhile day.

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February 12 Energy News

February 12, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Are Renewables The Cheapest New Source Of Power?” • After a politician said he thought renewable energy is the cheapest source for new power generation, AAP FactCheck took a look. It found that renewables are the cheapest form of new power generation, even when accounting for the cost of firming, based on available evidence. [Australian Associated Press]

Wind turbines in Australia (Alex Eckermann, Unsplash)

¶ “Transitioning Fleets To EVs Without Disrupting Operations, Cost-Effectively” • As fleets buy more electric vehicles, the most important factor for fleet managers is that the transition to EVs cannot disrupt current operations, a report found. For a smooth transition, it is essential that fleet operators understand utility capabilities and rate options. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “ESS Makes 12+ Hour Flow Battery For Sustainable Energy Storage” • Flow batteries have big advantages for stationary energy storage, but they are costly. Energy Storage Systems has a technology that could change that. Its battery is based on an iron compound and ordinary salt, which makes it both low-cost and environmentally friendly. [CleanTechnica]

ESS flow battery (ESS image)

¶ “Renewables, Gas Generators Seen As Winners In Green Hydrogen-Tinged Future” • The opportunity lies in co-locating renewable power facilities with electrolyzers – systems that break water into hydrogen and oxygen – to produce a carbon-free liquid fuel. It is more costly than natural gas, but it does not require pipelines. [S&P Global]

World:

¶ “Can Ireland Return To Its Former Wilderness?” • Once, 80% of all Irish land was covered by native trees, The figure now just 1%, as farmland dominates. Rewilding is the process of returning human-altered land to a more natural, ecologically-rich state. Rewilding could also act to counter climate change by building ecosystems that lock in carbon. [BBC]

Temperate rainforest in December (John Haynes, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Green Genius To Invest Over €100 Million To Create Solar Parks In Poland” • Green Genius, a renewable energy company that is a part of an international group of companies known as the Modus Group, has sunny ambitions for Poland. At the end of last year, it won two auctions for solar power plant projects with a total capacity of 79 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nissan Teams Up With The Arbor Day Foundation To Plant 20K Trees” • Nissan and the Arbor Day Foundation are joining forces to plant new trees all across Europe. They aim to plant 20,000 trees this year to benefit local communities and the broader world. The effort is a celebration of Nissan’s successful decade with the Nissan LEAF. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan LEAF (Arbor Day Foundation)

¶ “OX2 Swoops On 400 MW Of Finnish wind” • OX2, a Nordic developer, acquired the project rights to the 400-MW Lestijarvi wind farm in Finland from YIT for an undisclosed price. The project, which is the largest onshore wind farm in the country, will be built in Central Ostrobothnia. It will feature up to 72 turbines with heights of 240 meters. [reNEWS]

China:

¶ “Tesla Giga Shanghai Made Almost 25,000 EVs In January 2021” • Twitter user “Teslar” shared news that, according to the China International Corporation, Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory made 24,800 electric vehicles last month. This is up 9.9% from December 2020. Over 9,000 of the cars Tesla made in China last month were for export. [CleanTechnica]

Happy Chinese New Year from Tesla

¶ “China launches world’s largest carbon market” • China is launching the world’s largest carbon market, giving financial incentives to power plant operators to reduce their emissions. Experts hope it will be pivotal in helping the country meet its carbon targets. For now, the market only covers a single sector and lacks some strict regulations. [PRI]

¶ “Tesla’s $25,000 Model 2 Will Be Sold Globally, Tom Zhu Says” • Tom Zhu, president of Tesla’s operation in China, spoke in an interview with Chinese state media’s Xinhua Net about the news that Tesla China is developing a $25,000 vehicle. Zhu provided new information about Tesla’s new Model 2 EV. He said that it would be sold globally. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Giga Shanghai (Image courtesy of Tesla)

US:

¶ “How Cities Are Electrifying The Auto Market – Carsharing” • It’s no secret that transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the US. So it’s no surprise that, while promoting the use of public transit, biking, and walking, cities also embrace EVs in their quest to cut carbon emissions. And some are thinking outside of the box. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Study Shows New York Subways Have A Pollution Problem” • According to a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, New York’s subways are the most polluted in the Northeast. An analysis of the particulate pollution found that across the systems tested, iron accounted for the most common particulate material found in the air. [CNN]

New York subway station (Eddi Aguirre, Unsplash)

¶ “NYC Advances ‘Renewable Rikers’ Energy Plans” • The island with the world’s largest correctional facilities may one day be the site of a renewable energy plant. Plans for the transition gained momentum when New York City Council members voted to conduct a study of the potential for green infrastructure on Rikers Island. [Courthouse News Service]

¶ “Plus Power Breaks Open Market For Massive Batteries In New England” • Battery plants established themselves in the sunny Southwest, but now they have won big in New England. Plus Power, based in San Francisco, won two bids in a capacity auction held by the New England ISO. Two batteries storing a total of 650 MWh are due online in 2024. [Greentech Media]

Have a thrillingly pleasant day.

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February 11 Energy News

February 11, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Buy Land And Plant – An Adventure In Reforesting” • Having electrified home and car, and bought into a community solar project is not enough. Project Drawdown promotes Land Sinks. It explains, “Plants and healthy ecosystems have an unparalleled capacity to absorb carbon through photosynthesis and store it in living biomass.” [CleanTechnica]

Still from the documentary 10,000 trees (Courtesy of 10,000 Trees)

¶ “Electric Cars Aren’t Your Father’s Oldsmobile – Deal With It” • Early in the EV revolution, many automakers thought they could just rip the internal combustion engine out and shove an electric motor in. But EVs are definitely not your father’s Oldsmobile. And people’s attitudes about EVs have changed dramatically in the past decade. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alberta Oil Sands Emissions Alone Are Three Times The Global Market For CO₂” • Alberta and its oil and gas sector are betting big on carbon capture, sequestration, and use to cut their carbon emissions. The plan has bit of a flaw. The emissions from extraction alone are more than the current global commodity market for CO₂ today. [CleanTechnica]

Heating the Earth to get the oil (Idaho National Laboratory)

¶ “Build Nothing New That Ultimately Leads To A Flame” • Bill McKibben: A couple of weeks ago, I said that the first principle of fighting the climate crisis was simple: stop lighting coal, oil, gas, and trees on fire, as soon as possible. Today, I offer a second ground rule, corollary to the first: definitely don’t build anything new that connects to a flame. [The New Yorker]

World:

¶ “Nissan Launches EV Shuttle Experiment To Build Low Carbon Communities In Japan” • In a bid to to develop a revitalized, resilient, and sustainable community that can live up to the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, Nissan, with eight other Japanese companies and three local governments, has begun a field test for new mobility services. [CleanTechnica]

Calling a car (Courtesy of Nissan Global)

¶ “Underground Hydropower Could Be Britain’s Ultimate Renewable Power Source” • The UK’s hilly landscape could be the place for hydropower to be generated underground. Instead of using mountains and dams to store hydropower energy, hundreds or even thousands of hills across Britain could offer an alternative storage solution. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Scottish Solar-Storage Project Undergoes Review” • Proposals for a 30-MW solar-storage project north of Dunfermline in Scotland have been submitted for consultation. The plans, for the site near Lochead Landfill, consist of ground mounted solar panels along with associated battery storage. The project is planned to come online in 2022. [reNEWS]

Site in Scotland (AMPYR Energy image)

¶ “Shell Confirms Oil Production Has Peaked As It Unveils ‘Accelerated’ Green Plan” • Shell launched a major green plan to invest in low carbon technology and natural carbon capture, align its decarbonization goals with climate science, and seek regular advisory consent from shareholders for an “accelerated” net zero strategy. [businessgreen.com]

Australia:

Please note that Australians use the term “Liberal” to mean something more like what is called “Conservative” in the US

¶ “WA Liberals Target 100% Renewables By 2030 In Surprising Climate Plan” • In the upcoming elections in Western Australia, the Liberal Party is expected to lose badly. “We are in survival mode,” one party member told the ABC. So it seems the anti-climate-action attitude they have had isn’t particularly smart. A new party plan reflects that. [RenewEconomy]

Perth, Western Australia (Fadzai Saungweme, Unsplash)

¶ “WA Liberals Announce 4.5-GW ‘Mega Project’ As Part Of Renewable Energy Plan” • In Western Australia, the core of the Liberals’ New Energy Jobs Plan is a $9 billion 4.5-GW renewable energy “mega project,” with wind and solar capacity to be built up so energy can be converted to green hydrogen for transport to export markets. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Coal Plants To Close By 2025 Under WA Election Renewable Energy Plan From Liberals” • A Liberal Kirkup government plans to close all publicly owned coal-fired power stations by 2025 as part of the “biggest jobs, renewable energy and export project in the nation.” This mean that the Muja and Collie stations would shut within four years. [ABC News]

Muja Power Station (Nachoman-auCC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “US Airline Set To Buy Flying Electric Taxis For Airport Runs” • United Airlines plans to buy 200 flying electric taxis that it hopes will fly passengers to the airport within five years. United Airlines will also invest in flying taxi firm Archer Aviation as part of a $1.1 billion (£800 million) deal to develop the aircraft. The aircraft still need regulatory approval. [BBC]

¶ “California Surpasses Renewable Energy Goals Due To Local Demand” • A study from UCLA shows that the increased local demand for clean power enables the government to surpass its renewable power targets. The research finds that the community choice aggregators significantly impact energy procurement in California. [Los Hijos de la Malinche]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

¶ “County Supervisors OK Plan To Develop, Streamline Renewable Energy Projects” • The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to streamline the environmental review process for renewable energy projects in unincorporated areas. The goal is to simplify requirements, reviews, and permitting. [Times of San Diego]

¶ “Delaware To Boost Renewable Energy Requirements By 2035” • Renewable sources will make up a bigger chunk of Delaware’s energy supply by 2035. In 2005, the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards Act mandated that Delaware’s electricity providers get 25% of their power from renewable sources by 2025. Now, over 15 years later, the bar has been raised. [WHYY]

Have a simply magnificent day.

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