Posts Tagged ‘nuclear power’

March 23 Energy News

March 23, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Steel Is A Major Climate Problem, But It Can Decarbonize Rapidly In The Coming Decades” • Global steel manufacturing produces about 7% of the CO₂ emissions causing global warming. The good news in this challenging but necessary space is that it’s actually fairly easy to decarbonize steel manufacturing. But the steel produced will cost more. [CleanTechnica]

Blast furnace (Třinecké železárny)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Photosynthesis ‘Hack’ Could Lead To New Ways To Generate Renewable Energy” • Researchers ‘hacked’ the earliest stages of photosynthesis, which powers the vast majority of life on Earth, and discovered new ways to extract energy from the process, a finding that could lead to new ways of generating clean fuel and renewable energy. [ScienceDaily]

World:

¶ “One Of Europe’s Busiest Airports To Be Forced To Cut Flights Due To Planet-Warming Carbon Pollution” • Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, one of Europe’s busiest aviation hubs, is to be forced to limit the numbers of its international flights and passengers under the Dutch government’s plans to reduce carbon emissions. The move has triggered airline concerns. [CNN]

Takeoff at Schiphol Airport (CardMapr.nl, Unsplash)

¶ “South African Battery Storage Firm Solar MD Sees Record Growth In South Africa Last Year” • Solar MD makes its own battery packs in Cape Town by integrating cells from CATL. The record levels of load-shedding in 2022 provided a big growth opportunity for the stationary storage industry in South Africa, and Solar MD took advantage of that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Climate Change Is Reshaping The Alps” • A mountain in the French Alps is the site of one of the most unusual natural laboratories in the world. Scientists are using instruments set up on it to monitor permafrost in the rock walls. In the European Alps, more permafrost is thawing each year, threatening the very mountains as it does. [BBC]

Mont Blanc (Andrea Caramello, Unsplash)

¶ “Data Center Firm Teraco Plans To Build 200 MW Of Solar PV To Power Its Facilities In South Africa” • Teraco says it is the first provider of highly resilient, vendor-neutral data environments in sub-Saharan Africa. The company entered into a development agreement to build two 100-MW solar PV sites to generate power for Teraco’s facilities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BYD Launches Dolphin In Thailand At Price Parity With Popular ICE Vehicles” • BYD, partnering with Rever Automotive, launched the BYD Dolphin hatchback at the 44th Bangkok International Motor Show. Rever Automotive announced that the Dolphin will start at 799,999 Baht, which is about $23,256 after government incentives. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Analysis: China’s New Coal Plants Set To Become A Costly Second Fiddle To Renewables” • China’s plans for some 100 new coal-fired power plants to back up wind and solar capacity have sparked warnings from analysts that the world’s second-biggest economy is likely to end up lumbered with even more loss-making power assets. [Reuters]

¶ “Solar And Wind Power Through Energy Crisis To Chart Record Renewables Growth” • Defying a global energy crisis and supply chain issues, global renewable generation capacity soared in 2022, growing by 295 GW, or 9.6%, to reach 3,372 GW. The renewable energy growth continues to grow at record levels despite global uncertainties. [Renew Economy]

Solar array (Courtesy of Nextracker)

US:

¶ “Tesla Updates FSD In Response To NHTSA Recall Notice” • On February 15, 2023, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration issued a recall notice for 362,758 Tesla vehicles equipped with the so-called “Full Self Driving” (Beta) driver-assist system. Tesla says it has an over-the-air update ready for its Full Self Driving Beta software. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Some Ford Dealers Withdraw From Its Electric Car Sales Program” • Last year, Ford asked its 3,000 US dealers to make a choice to upgrade their facilities to support EVs or forego the opportunity to sell EVs from Ford. A total of about 1,900 decided to upgrade at different levels, but since that time some have withdrawn from the EV program. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E (MrWalkr, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Biden-Harris Administration Announces Over $200 Million To Modernize And Expand Hydropower” • The Biden-Harris Administration, through the DOE, announced more than $200 million for the modernization and expansion of hydroelectric power throughout America and the advancement of new marine energy technologies. [Department of Energy]

¶ “Lawmakers Take Up Renewable Energy Project Proposed For Aroostook County” • State lawmakers are being asked to approve a nearly $2 billion energy project that would connect Aroostook County to the New England power grid. The project is expected to provide 1,000 MW of renewable energy at a lower cost than natural gas. [Maine Public]

Mars Hill (Michael Surran, CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

¶ “Aging Maine Grid Is Putting Hundreds Of Renewable Energy Projects At Risk” • Proposals for community solar farms have surged in Maine, but they are encountering a serious obstacle: An aging grid that requires expensive upgrades to connect more sources of power to customers, putting the state’s clean energy transition at risk. [Bangor Daily News]

¶ “Restarting Michigan Nuclear Power Plant Risks ‘Chernobyl-Scale Catastrophe,’ Coalition Warns” • A coalition made up of 191 individuals and 185 groups representing thousands of people implored the federal government for the third time not to fund the revival of a 51-year-old nuclear power plant in Michigan that was shut down last May. [Common Dreams]

Have a satisfyingly beneficial day.

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March 22 Energy News

March 22, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “The New Normal In Energy Systems” • In this time of rapid change, things that used to be new are now normal. EVs are not just greener, they are better technology than internal combustion engine vehicles. The major green energy technologies – wind, solar, EVs, batteries, and ancillary technologies – are not just greener, but better. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Sam Forson, Pexels)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Can We Really Take CO₂ Back Out The Air?” • The AR6 report published by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change should serve as a “a survival guide for humanity,” UN chief Antonio Guterres has said. It is looking more clear that we will have to remove CO₂ from the atmosphere actively. Here is a look at that possibility. [BBC]

¶ “Massive Spray Drones Are Transforming Agriculture With Win After Win” • Agricultural drones are pervasive. One professinal guess was 15% usage by the two million farms in the US, either as a service or with direct ownership, but data suggest current usage is far greater, with 75% of farmers surveyed in 2018 having used or planning to use drones. [CleanTechnica]

Drone (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)

¶ “The IPCC’s Sixth Synthesis Report on Climate Change” • On March 20, the IPCC issued its Sixth Synthesis Report On Climate Change, refered to as AR6. This report synthesizes three reports produced in 2021 and 2022. None of those earlier reports is trivial in scope or size. Each, by itself, is a monumental work of science. [Green Energy Times]

¶ “Qnetic Unveils Revolutionary Flywheel Energy Storage System To Accelerate Renewable Energy Adoption” • Qnetic has developed a groundbreaking flywheel energy storage system to tackle the storage challenge head-on. The Qnetic battery has a 2 MWh capacity, with a 500 kW power output and a discharge duration of 4 to 12 hours. [Benzinga]

Qnetic system (Qnetic image)

World:

¶ “UN Warns Against ‘Vampiric’ Global Water Use” • A UN report warns of a looming global water crisis and an “imminent risk” of shortages due to overconsumption and climate change. It says the world is “blindly travelling a dangerous path” of “vampiric overconsumption and overdevelopment,” It comes before first major UN water summit since 1977. [BBC]

¶ “Indian Solar Module Maker Lands $2.5 Million Funding From World Bank” • Indian solar module manufacturer Insolation Solar has secured funding from a World Bank-backed fund for expansion of its production line. Insolation Energy currently has a module and cell production capacity of 700 MW and plans to expand it to 1,700 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Tata Power Secures 510-MW Solar-Wind Hybrid PPA” • One of the largest renewable energy companies in India, Tata Power Renewable Energy, has entered into a power purchase agreement for a solar-wind hybrid project. The company signed a 510-MW power purchase agreement with group company Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Sees Record Increase in 2022, Agency Says” • Renewable energy saw a record increase in 2022 with capacity up almost 10% globally, as 83% of new power capacity came from renewable sources, the International Renewable Energy Agency said. But IRENA also warned it was not enough to limit climate change. [VOA News]

Wind turbines (Pixabay, Pexels)

¶ “Wales Launches Tidal Lagoon Challenge” • The Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, has announced £750,000 for the Tidal Lagoon Challenge. The money will be available for at least three research projects focusing on the deployment of tidal lagoon technology. The work will advance the future development of a tidal lagoon project in Welsh waters. [reNews]

US:

¶ “California Battles Heavy Floods With More Rain And Wind To Come” • California residents are confronting heavy floods as the state braces for yet another week of storms. Millions of people in central and southern California, including the Los Angeles area, are under flood watches as the twelfth atmospheric river of this season is hitting the state. [BBC]

Atmospheric river hitting California (NOAA image)

¶ “Fisker Partners With ChargePoint For Public Charging In North America” • Fisker Inc, a leading EV innovator, announced ChargePoint as its North American partner for providing public charging systems. This strategic partnership will enable Fisker to expand its reach and offer more charging options to customers across the continent. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Boston’s Mayor Wants To Adopt Climate-Friendly Building Code” • Boston Mayor Michelle Wu wants the City to adopt a green building code for new construction. The updated energy code will deliver the long-term benefits of improved air quality, lower energy costs, reduced carbon emissions, and enhanced thermal comfort to residents. [CleanTechnica]

Boston (Sean Sweeney, Unsplash)

¶ “Entergy’s New Solar Station” • Entergy Mississippi announced that its 100-MW solar power station is up and running near the small Delta town of Ruleville. This power station, known as the Sunflower Solar Station, is the largest utility-owned solar PV installation in Mississippi, providing enough energy to power 16,000 homes. [Entergy Newsroom]

¶ “US Regulators Delay Decision On Nuclear Fuel Storage License” • US regulators have said they need more time to wrap up a final safety report and make a decision on whether to license a multibillion-dollar complex intended to provide temporary storage for tons of spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants around the nation. [USNews.com]

Have a reasonably frolicsome day.

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March 21 Energy News

March 21, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Five Things We’ve Learned From UN Climate Report” • The sober tones of the study by the IPCC make clear that there is very little chance of keeping the world from warming by more than 1.5°C. Governments had agreed to act to avoid that. But the world has already warmed by 1.1°C and now experts say that it is likely to breach 1.5°C in the 2030s. [BBC]

Business as usual (Christopher Lague, Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Strategic EV Charging Might Eliminate The Need For New Power Plants” • Charging control and infrastructure build-out are critical factors shaping charging load. MIT researchers found that it’s possible to mitigate or eliminate EV charging problems without advanced technological systems of connected devices and real-time communications. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Pipelines Contain Four Years Of US Steel Demand, And Will Be Scrapped For It” • Peak oil demand ies expected to arrive between 2025 and 2030 and peak natural gas around 2035. That means lots more scrap steel will become available, including the 3 million miles of US pipeline, and 40% of deepwater ships that carry bulk coal, oil, and gas. [CleanTechnica]

Oil pipeline in Alaska (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Nuclear Energy Will Not Halt The Climate Crisis – Lorna Slater” • As yesterday’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report confirmed, the Climate crisis is the greatest and most urgent crisis that we will ever face. But the government of the UK is looking to double down on fossil fuels and a so-called “Great British Nuclear” scheme. [Edinburgh News]

World:

¶ “‘The Climate Time-Bomb Is Ticking’: The World Is Running Out Of Time To Avoid Catastrophe, New UN Report Warns” • The world is rapidly approaching catastrophic levels of heating with international climate goals set to slip out of reach unless immediate and radical action is taken, according to a new UN-backed synthesis report. [CNN]

Melting glacier (NOAA, Unsplash)

¶ “Over 1 GW Of Private Solar And Wind Projects Registered In South Africa In The First 2 Months Of 2023” • South Africa has removed some stringent requirements for companies to generate their own power. Before the change, to generate electricity, they needed licenses for power plants larger than 1 MW. That’s been changed to 100 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Apollo To Build Substations For Floating Wind Research Site” • Apollo has received a contract from Celtic Sea Power to develop a floating offshore wind test site in Wales. The contract covers the pre-FEED for the 400-MW Pembrokeshire Demonstration Zone Multi-connection Offshore Substation and two 1-GW MOSs for the Crown Estate Refined Area of Search A. [reNews]

Floating wind turbines (Equinor image)

¶ “DOE To Bid Out 11,000-MW Renewable Energy Capacity” • The Philippine Department of Energy eyes to auction off more than 11,000 MW of renewable energy capacity for the next three years under its second Green Energy Auction Program, an official said. They looking for renewable energy developers with a ready capacity of 3,590 MW by next year. [Inquirer Business]

¶ “Climate Alarm Underlines Need For UK CfD Action” • The latest IPCC report underlines the urgent need to secure more clean power in this year’s UK renewable energy Contract for Difference auction, according to RenewableUK. The trade body’s executive director of policy Ana Musat said the research sounds a ‘final warning’ on the climate crisis. [reNews]

Ana Musat (RUK image)

¶ “Netherlands Plans 500-MW Wind-To-Hydrogen Project” • The Government of the Netherlands has announced plans to use offshore wind power for offshore hydrogen production. The project has about 500 MW of electrolysis capacity and will be based in the North of the Wadden Islands wind energy area. It is to be operational around 2031. [reNews]

¶ “BV-Classed Hybrid Ferries With Battery And Solar Power To Be Deployed In Hong Kong ” • Bureau Veritas, a world leader in Testing, Inspection and Certification, has announced that it will class two hybrid double hull, double end ferries, which will be equipped with battery and solar power technology for operation in Hong Kong. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Electric ferry for Hong Kong

US:

¶ “Lucid Continues To Expand Its Retail Presence In California” • Lucid Motors is revolutionizing the EV industry with its luxury electric cars. Lucid has created an unparalleled level of comfort and performance. Its flagship model, the 2023 Lucid Air Touring, offers a range of up to 517 miles on a charge while providing a smooth and quiet ride. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Number Of Light-Duty All-Electric Vehicle Models In USA Nearly Doubled From Model Year 2021 To 2022” • The number of light-duty battery EV models nearly doubled from model year 2021 to 2022, going from 20 to 38. The number of EV models in 2022 also surpassed the number of plug-in hybrid EV models for the first time since 2014. [CleanTechnica]

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning (Courtesy of Ford)

¶ “President Biden Vetoes Republican Attempt To Undo Labor Department Rule On Sustainable Investment In Retirement Plans” • President Joe Biden issued his first presidential veto, rejecting an attempt by Congress to nullify a Labor Department rule that allows managers of retirement plans to consider ESG factors in making decisions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Utility Regulators Approve Purchase Of Wisconsin’s Largest Renewable Energy Plant” • The Wisconsin PSC approved the $649 million purchase of the Koshkonong Solar Energy Center by We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, and Madison Gas and Electric. The project is to have 300 MW of solar and 165 MW of battery storage. [Wisconsin Public Radio]

Have a perfectly grand day.

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March 20 Energy News

March 20, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “US EIA Is Sending Mixed Messages On Fossil Fuels And Emissions” • The US Energy Information Agency says that US emissions will fall in the years to come as more renewable energy comes to the US electrical grid. The same agency says that US oil production will increase through 2050. So we burn less, as we push more on the rest of the world. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Electric Vehicles Tantalizingly Close To Price Parity With Gas Burners” • The main barrier to widespread EV adoption, from a buyer’s standpoint, is very simple: They cost more to buy than legacy vehicles. Due to a variety of factors, the costs of producing EVs could drop drastically over the next few years, and that is likely to lead to lower prices. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Six Ways To Remove CO₂ Pollution From The Atmosphere” • Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have emitted more than 2,000 gigatons of CO₂ into the atmosphere. This concentration of CO₂ and other greenhouse gases in the air causes the climate change impacts we’re experiencing today. Here are six ways to draw it down. [CleanTechnica]

Seaweed (Photo by the National Parks Service)

¶ “How Climate Change May Be Triggering More Earthquakes – And Vice Versa” • Between 1900 and 1950, the Earth recorded an average of 3.4 earthquakes per year with a magnitude greater than 6.5. That figured doubled to 6.7 a year in the early 1970s, and was almost five times that in the 2000s. The increase may be connected to climate change. [Worldcrunch]

World:

¶ “Millions Of Dead Fish Have Washed Up In A River Near An Australian Town” • Millions of dead fish have washed up in a river near a small Australian town, in a phenomenon that state officials say is related to the “heatwave conditions” that are sweeping the country at a time when flood waters are receding. The combination leads to low oxygen levels. [CNN]

Pool at Menindee Wier (Jeremy Buckingham, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Indonesia To Assemble Minicab-MiEV For Local Use By 2024” • Last February, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation announced that Indonesia would definitely host the assembly of its first mini EV, the Minicab-MiEV. Sources in Indonesia told CleanTechnica that vehicle prototyping has begun and the first locally assembled vehicles will be released by mid 2024. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volvo Delivers Its First Electric Heavy-Duty Truck In Africa” • Volvo Trucks has delivered its first heavy-duty electric truck to Morocco, marking a major milestone in the development of EVs in Africa. The truck, to be used for refuse collection, is the first battery-electric truck from a global manufacturer to be put into commercial operation in Africa. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo heavy-duty truck (Volvo Trucks image)

¶ “Emerald Set To Supercharge By Joining CQ Big Battery Blitz” • The town of Emerald was selected for Central Queensland’s next large-scale network-connected battery site. Emerald is home to over 1,920 solar systems, and the battery will allow locals to capture cheap renewable energy and drive down power bills, easing the cost of living. [Media Statements]

¶ “Malaysia’s Renewable Energy Supply Now At 25%, On Track To Achieve 2025 Target” • Renewable energy supply in Malaysia is now at 25%, said Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad. The country was on the right track to source 31% of its power capacity from renewables by 2025 and 40% by 2035. [New Straits Times]

Kuala Lumpur (Ishan @seefromthesky, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “When Russia Took Control Of Zaporizhzhia’s Nuclear Power Plant, Ukrainian Technicians Were Forced To Flee, Or Work At Gunpoint” • The warfare taking place around Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant has prompted warnings of possible disaster – but workers say the scenes inside the Zaporizhzhia station are just as alarming. [RNZ]

US:

¶ “A 12th Atmospheric River Is Headed Towards Storm-Fatigued California, Threatening Even More Floods” • Still reeling from an onslaught of powerful storms and floods, California is bracing for a 12th atmospheric river that’s expected to bring a new round of heavy snow and rain to the state. The latest storm is already dumping rain and snow on the state. [CNN]

Atmospheric river (NOAA, CCo)

¶ “Foxconn Wants To Manufacture Half Of All Electric Cars” • Foxconn now owns GM’s former Lordstown factory in Ohio, a facility capable of cranking out 330,000 vehicles a year at full capacity. It plans to standardize the primary systems needed to make electric cars, so it can quickly and cheaply the plant to build a wide range of models. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SparkCharge Expands Mobile EV Charging Fleet Service Across The US” • SparkCharge, the company behind the world’s first mobile EV charging system, announced that its Charging as a Service option called SparkCharge Fleet is going nationwide in the US. The service provides businesses with immediate access to EV charging. [CleanTechnica]

SparkCharge Fleet (Courtesy of SparkCharge)

¶ “These Small States Punch Above Their Weight On Clean Energy” • It’s no surprise that huge states like California and Texas are heavy hitters in generating electricity from wind and solar. But what if we look at generation per square mile of land? Then the leader is Iowa, powered largely by wind. Second place is Rhode Island, with its solar power. [Mother Jones]

¶ “Vermont Teens Call On Lawmakers To Act On Climate Change And Pass The Affordable Heat Act” • As legislators scrambled to meet crossover deadlines for policy bills at the Statehouse, youth climate activists from Youth Lobby, Sunrise Chittenden and the Sierra Club were calling on lawmakers to prioritize climate justice. [VTDigger]

Have an excitingly comfortable day.

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March 19 Energy News

March 19, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “The President Miscalculates On Climate Change” • Running for president, Joe Biden promised, “No more drilling on federal lands, period. Period, period, period.” No matter how he tries to sell his approval of the Willow project, an $8 billion plan to extract 600 million barrels of oil from federal land in Alaska, he looks like a hypocrite. [The Register-Herald]

Tundra (Viktoria Spokojna, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “BYD Launches Han BEV, Song PLUS DM-I, And Destroyer 05 PHEV In Uzbekistan” • BYD launched three new EV models in Uzbekistan at a brand and product presale conference. The three models are the brand’s flagship Han BEV sedan and two of its super hybrid models, the very popular Song PLUS DM-i and the Destroyer 05. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Can Achieve Energy Independence By 2047 Through Clean Technology: Study” • India can achieve its vision of energy independence by 2047, according to a study titled “Pathways to Atmanirbhar Bharat,” by the US DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. One benefit is $2.5 trillion in consumer savings through 2047. [CleanTechnica]

Rural India (Remi Clinton, Unsplash)

¶ “Nottingham City Council’s Eastcroft Depot Launches New Vehicle-To-Grid Demonstrator” • My Nottingham News reported that a first of its kind vehicle-to-grid demonstrator project in the UK was launched at Nottingham City Council’s Eastcroft Depot to show how technology can be used to improve energy demands caused by changing fleets to EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Airlines Downplayed Science On Climate Impact To Block New Regulations” • Airlines have been accused of using a “typical climate denialist” strategy after downplaying decades of scientific research on aviation emissions to block tougher regulations. Campaigners said the lobbying tactics echoed those of the 20th century tobacco industry. [openDemocracy]

Contrail (Rae Galatas, Unsplash)

¶ “United States And Indonesia Announce Partnership On Small Modular Reactor Nuclear Clean Energy” • At the Indo-Pacific Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Forum, Indonesia and the US announced a partnership to help Indonesia develop its nuclear clean energy program, supporting Indonesia’s interest in small modular reactors. [US Embassy Jakarta]

US:

¶ “Never Mind The Bottlenecks, Wind Farm Repowering Is Taking Off” • Anti-wind activists have been barnstorming around the country, making life more difficult for wind developers. Still, they can’t stop the wind. And there are plenty of opportunities to keep the industry humming along, including repowering older wind farms with new turbines. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Texas Leads The Country In Combined Wind And Solar Renewable Energy” • Texans take a certain pride in their state. Texans who work to save the planet take pride that Texas leads the country in generating renewable energy, according to a report issued by the US Energy Information Administration. Not California. Texas. [KXAN]

¶ “Ski Resorts Embracing Climate Activist Role” • Ski resorts have tiny greenhouse of the gas emissions, but they have an outsized influence on popular culture and in the business world. Some resorts are going beyond reducing their own emissions to leverage their influence to shift public opinion and advocate for climate legislation. [The Times Leader]

Ski resort (Quenten Janssen, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Now Required On New Mexico State Land After Lujan Grisham Signs Bill” • Public land managed by New Mexico was required to see developments of renewable energy, after a bill was signed to make its Office of Renewable Energy permanent. Last year, estimated revenue from wind and solar power was over $12 million. [Carlsbad Current-Argus]

¶ “Regulators: Nuclear Plant Leak Didn’t Require Public Notice” • Minnesota regulators knew four months ago that radioactive waste had leaked from a nuclear power plant in Monticello, but they didn’t announce anything about it until this week. They said the leak of 400,000 gallons of radioactive water did not require public notification. [Republican-American]

Have a comfortably magnificent day.

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March 18 Energy News

March 18, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Forging A Clean Steel Economy In The United States” • Steel industry first movers are already working to lower emissions through carbon capture or renewable hydrogen pathways to meet demand. Their momentum is fueled by public-private partnerships, indicating an appetite to claim market share in low-emissions differentiated steel. [CleanTechnica]

Old steel mill (Peter Herrmann, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Babanango: South Africa’s Big New Game Park Is The Result Of A Dramatic Transformation” • Five years ago, the area now safeguarded by the Babanango Game Reserve in the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa was virtually devoid of wildlife after decades of cattle grazing and unrestrained hunting. Now, it is coming back to what it had been. [CNN]

¶ “Shell Continues Expanding Its EV Charging Footprint” • Shell may have big challenges staying anywhere near its current size as the world transitions to electric vehicles. But it sure is building a big foothold in the EV charging realm so that it at least has that diversification offshoot for profit. Lately, it has been building a network in Switzerland. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Image courtesy of evpass)

¶ “Africa Soaks Up The Sun” • African countries are moving rapidly towards renewable energy, primarily through their abundant resource of solar. Funding for these projects is coming from a variety of sources – EU, Arab states, US, and Kenya. The grid size ranges from mini to maxi. Here are some notes on progress in a number of countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Allume Energy SolShare System Brings Rooftop Solar To Apartment Dwellers” • Australia’s Allume envisions a world where everyone can access clean and affordable energy from the sun. It says its SolShare system can make low cost, zero emissions electricity available to those who live in inexpensive housing, whether they own or rent. [CleanTechnica]

Apartment buildings with rooftop solar systems (Allume image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Projects At Risk: ‘UK’s Latest Plans Could Cause Missed Investments’” • Trade association RenewableUK warned that the government plans for the year’s auctions for contracts to generate clean power will fall short in attracting maximum investment in wind, solar, and tidal projects, so the UK could fail to meet targets. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Plans Submitted For 49.9-MW English Solar Farm” • Gamcap submitted a planning application for a solar farm in Yorkshire. The 49.9-MW project could supply energy to around 16,000 homes if approved by East Riding of Yorkshire Council. The Wyton Road Renewable Energy Project, will also include a battery energy storage system. [reNews]

Solar system (Chelsea, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “UK Backs Rolls-Royce Project To Build A Nuclear Reactor On The Moon” • The UK Space Agency said it would back research by Rolls-Royce looking at the use of nuclear power on the moon. The UKSA will provide £2.9 million ($3.5 million) of funding for the project, which it said would “deliver an initial demonstration of a UK lunar modular nuclear reactor.” [CNBC]

US:

¶ “The Mountain Town Buried By California Winter Chaos” • While beautiful, and a relief for the state’s dwindling water supply, the recent heavy snows wreaked havoc. Multiple counties are under emergency orders. It may be hard to believe that a warming planet would cause such an event, but climate science says that’s exactly what’s happening. [BBC]

Deep snow in California (Ryan C, Unsplash)

¶ “7-Eleven Now In EV Charging Business With 7Charge” • Everyone can see that the auto industry is electrifying. That includes oil companies and gas stations & convenience stores like 7-Eleven. Regarding the latter, the news this week is that 7-Eleven has launched its own EV charging network! The name of that charging network is 7Charge. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Now Chair Of The Senate Budget Committee, Whitehouse Argues That A Warming Planet Poses Fiscal Dangers” • Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is now head of the Senate Budget Committee. His first day there, he gave each of his colleagues a 615-page binder detailing the fiscal threats posed by droughts, storms, wildfires, and rising seas. [CleanTechnica]

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Whitehouse Senate Office)

¶ “US Energy-Related CO₂ Emissions Will Fall Through 2050, EIA Says” • The EIA forcasts US energy-related CO₂ emissions to drop 25% to 38% below what they were in 2005 by 2030. The US energy-related CO2 emissions reductions are driven by greater electrification, higher efficiency, and renewables deployment in the electric power sector. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Wave Is Prompting Some Farmers To Lease Land For Fields Of Solar Panels” • Dean Ortwell, CEO of the Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative, said he’s seen farmers offered $750, $800 and even $1,500 per acre in lease offers from solar energy developers. That compares to $250 to $350 per acre for farming uses. [hngnews.com]

Wisconsin farm (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Morgan Stanley Report Predicts Renewable Energy Will Replace Coal By 2033” • A Morgan Stanley report says renewable energy will replace coal-fired power plants by 2033, according to Power magazine. Coal use for power generation is already on the decline due to lower prices for natural gas and more stringent environmental regulations. [EHS Daily Advisor]

¶ “Duke Energy To Build Florida Floating Solar Array” • Duke Energy Florida announced that its first floating solar array pilot will begin construction later this month in Polk County. The floating solar array will feature more than 1,800 floating solar modules, for almost 1 MW, and occupy about two acres of water surface on an existing cooling pond. [reNews]

Have a vastly delightful day.

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March 17 Energy News

March 17, 2023

Science and Technology:

¶ “Will Shipping Return To Its Ancient Roots?” • To get on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050, international shipping will have to reduce its emissions by 15% by 2030. So far, emissions from the industry have been going more or less consistently in the other direction. Emissions from shipping can be reduced by using sails, however. [BBC]

Modern sailing ship (Oceanbird image)

¶ “New Study Gives Big Boost To Floating Solar” • A study in the journal Nature Sustainability argues that floating solar on many of the world’s reservoirs could provide a significant share of the renewable energy needed to transition away from electricity generated by burning fossil fuels. This means that pressure is off of land use for solar. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “EU Takes 1st Step To Ensure Green Technologies Are Made In Europe” • The EU unveiled two draft laws in response to the US subsidies that it fears are luring European cleantech companies away. One will help the bloc secure supply of the metals needed for green technologies. The other is a first step to ensure that the technologies are made in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes-Benz factory (Mercedes-Benz image)

¶ “EU Plans Subsidies For Hydrogen Made Using Renewable Energy” • The European Commission is outlining plans for a hydrogen subsidy scheme that would make clean versions of the fuel more competitive with fossil fuel-based hydrogen, a draft document showed. EU industries use about 8 million tonnes of hydrogen. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ “Solar And Wind Dominate India’s Capacity Additions In 2022” • India saw strong growth of renewable capacity in 2022, setting the stage for the country to assume climate leadership in the run up to this year’s G20 summit. Solar and wind capacity accounted for 92% of the year’s total additions. Only 5% of the new capacity was coal-burning. [Ember-climate.org]

Solar array (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Controversial Alberta Coal Mine Could Soon Get Green Energy Makeover” • TransAlta was once Canada’s premier provider of coal-fired electricity. Now, it is partnering with Australian company Montem Resources in a project to turn Tent Mountain’s historic mining operation into a pumped hydro plant to store renewable energy. [Global News]

¶ “Singapore Moves Ahead With Plan To Import Clean Energy” • Singapore took steps toward sourcing renewable power abroad by signing agreements with Indonesia and Cambodia. Indonesia and Singapore agreed to jointly develop renewables. Cambodia’s Royal Group Power Co will supply electricity generated from 4 GW of renewable capacity. [Yahoo Finance]

Singapore (Mike Enerio, Unsplash)

¶ “IEA: More Than A Third Of The World’s Electricity Will Come From Renewables In 2025” • A significant rise in CO₂ emissions from the global power sector is unlikely over the next few years, thanks to the rapid rise in renewable energy capacity. That’s a key finding from the International Energy Agency’s “Electricity Market Report 2023.” [The World Economic Forum]

¶ “Germany And Spain Push To Keep Nuclear Out Of The EU Renewable Energy Goals” • Seven EU states including Germany, Spain, and Denmark have strengthened their resistance to efforts by France to count nuclear energy towards EU renewable energy targets, a letter seen by Reuters says. The EU is negotiating more ambitious renewable energy targets. [ZAWYA]

Nuclear plant (Pixy.org, CC0)

US:

¶ “Southern California Water Board Rescinds Emergency Conservation Measures Following Winter Storms” • California’s water supplies were at critically low levels before recent storms. Now, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California says it is no longer mandating emergency restrictions on water use for over 7 million people. [CNN]

¶ “Comparing The Net Value Of Geothermal, Wind, Solar, And Solar+Storage In The Western US” • Studies show that a diverse portfolio of zero-carbon resources will be needed to decarbonize the US electricity sector, and that high-capacity-factor renewable resources like geothermal could become particularly important in later stages of decarbonization. [CleanTechnica]

Geothermal power plant (David Elvar Masson, Pexels)

¶ “Google And LevelTen Make Renewable Energy PPAs Easy As Pie” • Foes of clean energy object to “woke capital,” but Google has pulled the rug out from under them. In a partnership with the startup LevelTen Energy, Google aims to kick wind and solar development into high gear by cutting 80% off the time it takes to execute power purchase agreements. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Encouraging’: Boise’s Emissions Drop As Climate Initiatives Come Online, Renewables Stay Strong In Idaho” • Boise is working on multiple climate initiatives. The latest figures on its carbon emissions show declines as the city moves toward a series of climate goals over the coming decades, making the City of Trees carbon neutral by 2050. [Boise Dev]

Anderson Dam (Courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation)

¶ “Entergy Seeks To Boost Economic Development In Louisiana Through Renewable Power Expansion” • To do its part to protect the environment and help the state with economic development, Entergy Louisiana recently made the largest renewable power expansion request in state history. It is seeking to add 3 GW of solar capacity. [Market Screener]

¶ “400,000 Gallons Of Radioactive Water Leak From Minnesota Nuclear Plant” • Minnesota regulators said they’re monitoring the cleanup of a leak of 400,000 gallons of radioactive water from Xcel Energy’s Monticello nuclear plant. The company said there’s no danger to the public. The leak was first detected in November of last year. [CBS News]

Have a simply spectacular day.

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March 16 Energy News

March 16, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Renewables Surge, Yet Carbon Emissions Hit Record. What Gives?” • The world’s emissions of heat-trapping CO₂ rose to record levels last year, according to an International Energy Agency report, but renewable energy sources continued their exponential growth. Some analysts believe that the world’s fossil fuel demand has peaked. [Christian Science Monitor]

Earth from above the Gulf of Mexico (NASA image, Unsplash)

¶ “UK Budget: Why Chancellor Jeremy Hunt Is Dead Wrong About Nuclear Power – Dr Richard Dixon” • The nuclear industry and their friends are stepping up their propaganda war but their terrible track record shows that new reactors are still not the answer to either reducing emissions or supplying affordable power. [MSN]

World:

¶ “‘Endless, Brutal Heat’: Argentina’s Late-Season Heatwave Has ‘No Similarities In History’” • Argentina is grappling with an unprecedented late-summer heatwave as temperatures soar to record-breaking levels. The heat causes crops to wither, spreads wildfires, and adds huge pressure to a country already facing an economic crisis. [CNN]

Puerto Madero (Sebastian Cyrman, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “Brazilian Researchers Find ‘Terrifying’ Plastic Rocks On Remote Island” •The geology of Brazil’s volcanic Trindade Island has fascinated scientists for years, but some rocks recently found in the remote turtle refuge are alarming. The rocks have melted plastic intertwined in them. The island is 1,140 km (708 miles) off the coast of Espirito Santo. [CNN]

¶ “Honda And Volkswagen Accelerate EV Plans” • Honda and Volkswagen both announced plans to ramp up their conversion to electric vehicles. Honda is moving production around to clear factory space for its forthcoming EVs, while Volkswagen says it is committed to investing more than $193 billion worldwide over the next several years. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.2all (Volkswagen image)

¶ “85% Of Global Companies Don’t Have Credible Plans To Reduce Corporate Flying Emissions” • 85% of global companies are failing to set real targets to reduce their travel emissions, the second edition of a ranking on business travel by The Travel Smart Campaign shows. Only 50 companies out of 322 have set targets to reduce travel emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Italy Is Fighting Energy Poverty And Climate Change” • San Giovanni a Teduccio is a working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. A rooftop solar system provides low-cost, clean energy to twenty of its families. San Giovanni is one of at least 35 renewable energy communities across Italy, according to the nonprofit Legambiente Campania. [CleanTechnica]

Naples (Danilo D’Agostino, Unsplash)

¶ “35% Of Philippine Energy Supply To Come From Renewable Sources By 2030” • The Energy Regulatory Commission said the Philippines is planning to make renewable energy one of its leading sources of power supply in less than ten years. It will account for at least 35% of the energy mix by 2030 and more than 50% by 2040. [Inquirer Business]

¶ “Chancellor Unveils Nuclear And Carbon Capture Incentives” • The UK Chancellor has announced funding for carbon capture, usage, and storage and nuclear power plants in a Spring Budget devoid of new incentives for wind and solar projects. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled up to £20 billion to develop what he calls “another plank of our green economy.” [reNews]

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt (UK Government image)

¶ “Japan Regulator Bypasses Experts In Declaring Faults Under Nuclear Plant Not Active” • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority approved an electric power company’s claim that faults running just below a nuclear plant are “not active,” without seeking to consult a group of experts who indicated the possibility of the faults being active in 2016. [The Mainichi]

US:

¶ “EPA Finalizes Rule To Cut Down On Harmful Smog And Pollution From Power Plants” • The EPA has finalized what is called its good-neighbor rule, which aims to cut down on smog and NOₓ pollution from coal-fired power plants and industrial facilities. A rule to reduce CO₂ pollution from coal and natural gas-fired power plants is expected soon. [CNN]

Smoke (DDP, Unsplash)

¶ “Notre Dame Solar Plant To Cut Campus Carbon Emissions 600 To 700 Tons A Year” • The University of Notre Dame will install a 46,000-square-foot solar array on the west side of campus, along Indiana 933, as part of an ongoing effort to diversify its energy supply and achieve net zero campus carbon emissions by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “To California Regulators: Delay Harmful Rooftop Solar Plan!” • California regulators should revise a rooftop solar plan to make solar more affordable for low-income communities, dozens of groups are telling the California PUC. The commission’s plan drastically reduces the credit new solar users would get when they send solar energy to the grid. [CleanTechnica]

Installing solar panels (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “AVANGRID Continues Expansion Of Solar Farms With New Projects In Texas And Ohio” • AVANGRID, a leading sustainable energy company and part of the Iberdrola Group, is building its presence in the US renewable energy industry with two solar projects in Texas and Ohio. They will generate 523.5 MW of clean and affordable power. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Biden-Harris Administration Announces $750 Million To Advance Clean Hydrogen Technologies” • The Biden-Harris Administration, through the DOE, announced the availability of $750 million for research, development, and demonstration efforts to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen. Long-term energy storage is one use of hydrogen. [Department of Energy]

Have an uncommonly comfortable day.

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March 15 Energy News

March 15, 2023

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Diverse Approach Is Key To Carbon Removal” • One key takeaway from a study led by scientists at the US DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is that diversification reduces risk. The effective path to limiting global warming to 1.5°C in this century likely requires a mix of technologies to pull CO₂ from Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. [CleanTechnica]

Forest (John Towner, Unsplash)

¶ “Drought Study Finds Climate Change Responsible, Irrefutable Research” • A NASA-led study published in Nature Water confirms that major droughts and pluvials – periods when precipitation and water storage on land was excessive – have been occurring more often. For the study, NASA scientists examined 20 years of data from the NASA satellites. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “What Are Atmospheric Rivers?” • Atmospheric rivers are relatively long, narrow regions in the atmosphere – like rivers in the sky – that transport most of the water vapor outside of the tropics. They come in many shapes and sizes, but those that have the largest amounts of water vapor and the strongest winds can create extreme rainfall and floods. [CleanTechnica]

Lake Oroville, Sep 2021 (California Department of Water Resources)

Lake Oroville, Dec 2022 (California Department of Water Resources)

World:

¶ “South Africa Issues Tender For 513-MW, 2,052-MWh Battery Storage Spread Across 5 Sites” • South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has called for bids for storage capacity totaling 2,052-MWh under the Battery Energy Storage Capacity Bid Window of the Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volvo Trucks Is Bringing Electric Trucks To South Africa!” • Volvo Trucks has announced that it will start delivering heavy electric trucks to customers in South Africa from May of 2023. In South Africa, these heavy electric trucks fall within the extra heavy commercial vehicle segment, with gross vehicle weight ratings exceeding 16.5 tonnes. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo electric truck (Volvo image)

¶ “2,000 MW Of Renewable Energy Projects To Be Developed By Onix Group In UP” • Onix Group revealed at the recently finished Uttar Pradesh Investors Conference 2023 that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Uttar Pradesh to build 1,000-MW of solar capacity and 1,000-MW of wind capacity in the state. [Construction World]

¶ “Renewable Energy Market Size To Grow To $2.0 Trillion By 2028” • The Global Renewable Energy market was estimated at $1.20 trillion in 2021 and is anticipated to reach $2.0 trillion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 7.5%. Sources counted as renewable energy are wind, ocean, bio, sunlight, the movement of water, and geothermal heat. [openPR.com]

Wind turbine (Crissy Ocallaghan, Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “168.39 GW Renewable Energy Capacity Installed In India – Union Power & NRE Minister RK Singh” • So far, a total of 168.39 GW of renewable energy capacity has been installed in India. This includes 63.89 GW of solar, 46.85 GW of large hydro, 41.98 GW of wind, and others. Also, 80.15 GW of capacity is under implementation. [Odisha Diary]

¶ “Premier: No Electrical Shortage After Nuclear Generator Decommission” • Premier Chen Chien-jen says Taiwan will not experience electrical shortage following the decommissioning of the Kuosheng nuclear plant’s No 2 reactor. The government is retiring the generator because the operating permit reached its 40-year contract. [Radio Taiwan International]

Nuclear plant in Taiwan (Toach japan, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

US:

¶ “West And East Coasts Battered In Storm ‘Double-Whammy’” • Intense storms slammed into both coasts of the US on Tuesday, bringing more rain, flooding and mud slides to California, and high winds and heavy snow to the north-east. Nearly 90,000 customers are without power in New York State and over 3,000 flights in the US have been delayed. [BBC]

¶ “Inside The Biden Administration’s Fraught Decision To Green-Light The Controversial Willow Project” • About two weeks before the Willow oil project was approved, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland held a meeting with key environmental advocates and Indigenous groups that opposed it. She told them the agency had to make difficult choices. [CNN]

North Slope of Alaska (Paxson Woelber, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Biden-Harris Administration Opens Applications For First Round Of $2.5 Billion Program For EV Charging Infrastructure” • The Biden-Harris Administration opened applications for a new multi-billion-dollar program to fund EV charging and alternative-fueling infrastructure in US communities and along designated highways. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “American Lung Association Supports All-Electric Building Act” • The American Lung Association penned a memo in support of the All-Electric Building Act, which seeks to effectively ban gas-powered appliances in residential units. The ALA urges the New York state senate and assembly to include the bill in their new One House budget proposals. [CleanTechnica]

Gas stove (Dane Deaner, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “Honeysuckle Solar Farm Powers Through Winter, Ramping Up Construction” • Honeysuckle Solar Farm, a renewable energy project located on just over 1,000 acres of former farmland in St. Joseph County, Indiana, is set to generate 150 MW of power early next year. The $164.7 million project is being developed by Lightsource BP. [NewsBreak Original]

¶ “Republicans Want Nuclear Power Back In Maine” • Two Republican lawmakers are looking to bring nuclear power back to Maine. Reps Mark Walker (R-Baldwin) and Richard Campbell (R-Orrington) both have bills in that could open the door to the generation of electricity using nuclear power in Maine for the first time since 1996. [The Maine Wire]

Have a charmingly uncomplicated day.

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March 14 Energy News

March 14, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “The Alaska Oil Project Will Be Obsolete Before It’s Finished” • Though world leaders now talk constantly about transitioning away from fossil fuels, they also fret about ensuring a supply of oil and gas. But now they are also green-lighting new fossil-fuel projects that won’t start producing energy for years and won’t wind down operations for decades. [The Atlantic]

Trans-Alaska Pipeline (Arthur T LaBar, CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

¶ “Energy Insecurity” • One lesson countries are learning from the current war in Ukraine is that centralized power generation is vulnerable, producing energy insecurity. In a despicable move against the civilians of Ukraine, Russia has targeted energy infrastructure. As in many other countries, energy generating in Australia is being decentralized. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Georgia’s Big New Nuclear Reactors Could Be The Last Built In The US” • The first nuclear reactor built in the US in 30 years reached a milestone last week that brings it close to syncing up with the electrical grid and generating power for customers. But this is not the dawn of the long-threatened nuclear renaissance. It’s more like a swan song. [Canary Media]

New nuclear plant (Georgia Power image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Vehicle Batteries Could Get Big Boost With New Polymer Coating” • Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a conductive polymer coating called HOS-PFM that could enable longer lasting, more powerful lithium-ion batteries for EVs. The coating conducts both ions and electrons at the same time. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Water Disasters On Both Ends Of The Spectrum – Dry And Wet – Are Getting More Intense As Planet Warms, Study Finds” • From lengthy droughts to severe flooding, the intensity of water-related disasters around the world has increased over the last two decades as temperatures climbed to record levels, according to research by NASA. [CNN]

Flood (Phillip Flores, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Aukus Deal: US, UK, And Australia Agree On Nuclear Submarine Project” • The leaders of the US, UK, and Australia have unveiled new details of their plan to create a fleet of next generation nuclear-powered submarines. Under the Aukus agreement, Australia will first receive at least three nuclear-powered submarines from the US. [BBC]

¶ “Volkswagen Picks Canada For New Battery Factory” • In a press release, Volkswagen Group said it and its battery company PowerCo have selected St Thomas in Ontario as the site of its first overseas gigafactory for cell manufacturing. The new factory will produce sustainable unified cells, with the start of production planned for 2027. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.3 (Volkswagen image)

¶ “BYD, Hozon Auto, And SGMW Set Up Factories In ASEAN Member States In Global Push To Provide Affordable EVs” • The SAIC-GM-Wuling Joint Venture has a factory in Indonesia. After the success of the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV in China, SGMW is expanding its offering in this class of vehicles and taking the Wuling Air to markets outside China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Octopus Electric Vehicles To Buy 5,000 Vehicles From BYD In UK” • BYD announced that the Atto 3 SUV is now available for orders in the UK and that deliveries start this week. The first BYD ‘Pioneer’ stores will open imminently and are situated along the spine of UK including Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, and Milton Keynes. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Atto 3 SUV (BYD image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Only Solution To Pakistan’s Energy Woes: Abbasi” • Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Pakistan was phasing out its oil-based energy generation as 42% of its energy is from renewable resources, rising to 50% by 2030. He said that renewable energy is the only solution to Pakistan’s energy woes. [The News International]

US:

¶ “Biden Administration Approves Controversial Willow Oil Project In Alaska” • The Biden administration has approved the massive Willow oil drilling project in Alaska, angering climate advocates and setting the stage for a court challenge. The project could generate enough oil to release 9.2 million metric tons of planet-warming CO₂ per year. [CNN]

¶ “Activists Push Green Energy To Counter NJ Transit’s Plan For Fossil Fuel Power Plant” • Environmental activists heralded a report that they say proves a hybrid renewable energy microgrid is feasible to help power NJ Transit’s power needs during an unexpected outage. The agency is weighing a fossil-fuel-burning power plant in Kearny. [NorthJersey.com]

¶ “Young Activists Put El Paso On The Front Line Of Climate Defense” • A group of young people in Texas gathered more than 40,000 signatures last year to force a referendum on whether fossil fuel activities in and around El Paso should be curtailed. El Paso sits on the edge of the Permian Basin, which produces about 40% of all US oil. [CleanTechnica]

Nodding donkeys (CGP Grey, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “NH Community Power: Rates Will Be 20% To 40% Less Than Utility Companies” • Using a model that’s called “transformative” for the energy market, the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire has announced that its initial electricity rate will be 15.8¢/kWh. This is a 20% to 40% savings compared to the state’s utility companies. [New Hampshire Bulletin]

¶ “Biden Says Generation ‘Damned’ If We Don’t Fix Climate Change, Also Approves Willow Oil Drilling Project” • Biden did admit that Earth’s rising temperature would have consequences for younger generations. But his decision to approve the Willow oil drilling project also reneged on his 2020 campaign promise to end the passage of new oil and gas permits. [Yahoo]

Have an abundantly nice day.

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March 13 Energy News

March 13, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “With Heat From Heat Pumps, US Energy Requirements Could Plummet By 60%” • The actually useful energy we have to make will drop drastically when we apply heat pumps everywhere we can. The energy we have to replace is not what is on the left side of the Sankey diagram, but the rejected energy, the gray area on the right. Electrifying will reduce it a lot. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (LLNL image)

¶ “Geopolitics Cast A Shadow Over Russian Nuclear Supplies” • Russia’s strengths in nuclear energy are multifaceted. It mines about 5% of the world’s uranium. But more importantly, it has almost half of the world’s enrichment capacity, to produce uranium suitable for nuclear fuel. Even the US and France depend substantially on Russia. [The National]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Longest-Lasting Tropical Cyclone On Record” • For over a month, Tropical Cyclone Freddy has cast about in the Indian Ocean, bringing powerful winds and downpours to anything in its long and wandering path. The storm first developed off the North Australian coast on February 6, 2023. On March 8, it was hitting Mozambique for the second time. [CleanTechnica]

Cyclone Freddy (NASA Earth Observatory)

World:

¶ “Why East Antarctica Is A ‘Sleeping Giant’ Of Sea Level Rise” • Scientists once thought the East Antarctic ice sheet, which has enough water in it to raise sea levels 52 meters (170 ft), was stable. But now its ice shelves are beginning to melt. Some glaciers in what one explorer called the “home of the blizzard” are melting and might be at risk of sudden collapse. [BBC]

¶ “Monster 66-Tonne Electric Truck Unveiled For Trial Run In Norway” • Scania has established a track record for electrification in Norway, where it already has more than 100 electric trucks on the road. The new model represents a step up, and according to Scania, it is the first of its kind. It apparently is still in a pilot project stage. [CleanTechnica]

Super-sized electric truck (Scania image)

¶ “BrightNight And ACEN Partner To Deploy 1.2-GW Hybrid Renewable Power Portfolio In India” • BrightNight, a global renewable power producer that offers dispatchable solutions, has partnered with ACEN Corporation to accelerate development, construction, and operation of its 1.2 GW multi-technology renewable power portfolio in India. [SolarQuarter]

¶ “Electric Vehicles Proliferate In New Zealand Market” • With over a dozen new models being released in New Zealand this year, it looks like the NZ electric vehicle buyer will be spoilt for choice. Most of these vehicles have already been released in the UK right-hand-drive market. But for those of you who wish to taste a great summary, have a look. [CleanTechnica]

LDV eT60 (LDV image)

UK:

¶ “Britain’s Tax Take Risks Blowing Green Energy Off Target” • A cap on revenue and the lack of the kind of incentives offered to oil explorers are blocking the development of renewable energy in Britain, according to industry officials who are pressing for changes ahead of this week’s budget. They say goals could be missed without policy changes. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “A Tidal Power ‘Mega Project’ In One Of Europe’s Iconic Waterways Could Power A Million Homes. But The Costs Are Huge” • If all goes to plan, the Mersey could also play a major role in the UK’s sustainable future. Authorities in Liverpool want the river to be home to a huge tidal power project which, they say, could power up to 1 million homes. [CNBC]

Liverpool from across the Mersey (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Consent Granted For Wales’ First Floating Windfarm” • The Welsh Government has granted consent for Wales’ first floating windfarm located 40 km off the coast of Pembrokeshire. Project Erebus will house seven next-generation 14-MW turbines on floating platforms, providing enough low carbon energy to power 93,000 homes. [GOV.WALES]

US:

¶ “Another Step Toward Zero Emissions: A Medium-Duty Electric Mack Truck” • Mack Trucks has announced its Mack® MD Electric, the first electric Mack Truck in the medium-duty segment of the industry. The Mack MD Electric will be available in Class 6 and Class 7 ratings. Both models are exempt from the 12% Federal Excise Tax. [CleanTechnica]

Mack® MD Electric (Mack Trucks image)

¶ “Virginia General Assembly Split On Whether To Pursue Nuclear Power More Aggressively” • Virginia’s Republican House of Delegates and governor want to encourage nuclear and SMR use. But the majority of Senate Democrats have balked, saying they’d like to see more research into SMRs in particular before committing to develop them. [Virginia Mercury]

¶ “Duke Energy’s Largest Solar Power Plant Begins Commercial Operations” • Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions announced the successful operation of its largest solar power plan. The 250-MW Pisgah Ridge Solar project in Texas will help DESS expand its renewable energy resources, offering energy to commercial customers. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Have a neatly presented day.

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March 12 Energy News

March 12, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Why UN Climate Science Must Keep Shaping Global Climate Policy” • IPCC reports provide a comprehensive assessment of the scientific evidence on climate change. Their 30-odd page ‘Summary for Policymakers’ has a sense of ‘ownership’ by UN member states as it goes through a line-by-line approval process by government delegations. [Impakter]

Ghost forest  (NC Wetlands, CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Growing Impact of Attribution Science in Climate Science” • Attribution science studys how climate change relates to natural weather patterns and variability. It can help us learn the connections between extreme weather and climate change, providing insight into what emissions are driving the worst impacts, and helping shape solutions. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Cyclone Freddy: Winds And Rain Lash Mozambique As Storm Arrives” • Mozambique is being hit by Cyclone Freddy again, as it makes its second landfall this month. It was formed 34 days ago and may become the longest-lasting storm on record. Experts says climate change is making tropical storms around the world wetter, windier, and more intense. [BBC]

Cyclone Freddy (NASA image)

¶ “Copperstring 2 – Coal Money To Buy 6-Gigawatt Renewable Project” • The Queensland Labour government will use increased taxes on coal miners to buy and complete Copperstring 2, a 1,000 km network. These transmission lines will connect areas of Queensland rich in solar and wind power with the industrial hub of Townsville. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Italy’s BEV Market Down 26.6% In 2022 – Will Tesla Come To The Rescue?” • 2022 was a year of defeat for electric mobility in Italy. Europe’s fourth largest market struggled to keep up with the rest of Europe’s major auto markets. EVs made important gains in market share elsewhere in Europe, but Italian sales of plug-in vehicles suffered a setback. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Recruits Asian Partners To Help Ramp 4680 Battery Cell Production” • Getting the 4680 battery right is essential to getting the long-awaited Tesla Cybertruck into production. Panasonic is running a pilot 4680 production line at its Wakayama factory in Japan and plans to start volume production later in the fiscal year that ends in March 2024. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Investors Squeezed By Higher Interest Rates, Costs” • Corporations and investors have been pouring money into renewable energy projects, seeing an opportunity to do good while doing well. But sharply higher interest rates have further stressed a model strained by soaring prices for steel and silicon. [The Business Standard]

Wind turbines (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Safety Costs At Nuclear Plants In Japan Exceed ¥6 Trillion” • Costs for safety measures necessary to restart Japan’s idle nuclear reactors following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster ballooned to over ¥6.09 trillion ($45.11 billiion) in January, according to 11 major power companies in the country. And some companies have not included anti-terrorism costs. [Japan Today]

¶ “CNNC Announces Largest Ever Annual Investment Plan On Nuclear Power, New Energy” • China National Nuclear Power Co recently unveiled its 2023 investment blueprint, worth of 80.02 billion yuan ($11.58 billion), which is a near 60% of year-on-year increase, also marking the highest annual investment since it was listed on the stock market. [Global Times]

Wind turbines and nuclear plant (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “French Nuclear Revival Hits Trouble As New Reactor Defects Found” • France’s troubled nuclear industry is supposed to be in revival, but more defects were found at reactors, stoking fears of another difficult year. EDF SA’s fleet of 56 atomic power plants has long been the backbone of Europe’s energy system, but in 2022 it was more of a millstone. [Yahoo Finance]

US:

¶ “Ford F-150 Lightning Production To Resume; Morgan Stanley Pooh-Poohs Tesla Cybertruck” • After a Ford F-150 Lightning parked in a company holding lot caught fire, Ford immediately halted production and stopped shipments until the cause of the fire was identified. The company now says it has found the issue and will resume production. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning (Ford image)

¶ “Texas Senators Unveil Bills To Boost Power Grid Reliability, Foster Natural Gas Production” • Lt Gov Dan Patrick and a bipartisan group of Texas senators shared details of a nine-bill plan to reform Texas’ power grid. The bills would establish loans to maintain natural gas and coal plants while eliminating a state subsidy for renewable energy. [Community Impact]

¶ “More Expensive To Keep Coal Plants Running Than To Build New Renewable” • According to a recent analysis, renewables have become more economically viable than coal in the US. For 99% of the country’s coal-fired power plants, it’s now more costly to continue operating than to construct a completely new solar or wind energy facility in the vicinity. [Warp News]

Have a basically perfect day.

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March 11 Energy News

March 11, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Bloomberg Calls “Peak ICE” Just As GM Offers Buyouts To Salaried Employees” • Colin McKerracher of Bloomberg New Energy Finance observed that the global market for internal combustion vehicles peaked in 2017 and is now in structural decline. GM announced it is offering to buy out US salaried employees. Is there a connection? [CleanTechnica]

Ferrari (Guillaume Bleyer, Unsplash)

¶ “Australia Must Learn Lessons From Fukushima Disaster” • On March 11, 2011, a massive tsunami devastated large areas along Japan’s eastern coastline. It also breached the safety and backup systems of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power stations, leading to meltdowns. More than $120 billion has been spent, but the crisis continues today. [Independent Australia]

Science and Technology:

¶ “La Niña Has Ended And El Niño Will Form During Hurricane Season, Forecasters Say” • After three consecutive years of an unusually stubborn pattern, La Niña has ended and El Niño is on the way, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. That could mean a less active Atlantic hurricane season and another spike in global temperatures. [CNN]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

World:

¶ “South Africa’s Naamsa Recommends Incentives Up To R80,000 ($4,320) To Catalyze Growth Of EV Sector” • Naamsa, the Automotive Business Council in South Africa, has released its document, “New Energy Vehicle Roadmap Thought Leadership Discussion.” It notes the need for “meaningful NEV transition in South Africa.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU Agrees To Push For Global Phase Out Of Fossil Fuels Ahead Of COP28 Climate Conference” • European Union countries agreed to promote a global fossil fuel phase out ahead of the UN’s COP28 climate summit. Europe is transforming its energy system to meet climate targets and end decades of reliance on Russian fossil fuels. [CNN]

Windfarm (Tyler Casey, Unsplash)

¶ “UK And France Sign New Renewable Energy Partnership” • The governments of the UK and France have signed an energy partnership that will mean greater regional and global energy security, as well as delivering secure, green, affordable energy for both countries. They also committed to further cooperation on civil nuclear power. [Energy Digital Magazine]

¶ “The Ice Cream, A Small $5000 EV, May Spark More EV Interest In The Philippines” • The Ice Cream, a popular small footprint electric vehicle in China, will soon be launched in the Philippines. The vehicle is available in three variants in China: Pudding, Cone, and Sundae, for as little as $5,000. It is made by Chinese car maker Chery. [CleanTechnica]

Chery QQ Ice Cream (Quzhouliulian, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

US:

¶ “’Pineapple Express’ Winter Storm Pummels California” • The latest winter storm to hammer California is bringing torrential rain, flash flooding, and landslides. It is closing roads, felling trees and raising avalanche fears. It is the state’s tenth atmospheric river of the winter, and nearly all residents are under weather warning this weekend. [BBC]

¶ “Biden Administration To Approve Major Alaska Oil Drilling Project Willow” • The Biden administration is soon set to approve ConocoPhillips’ Willow Project, a major oil drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope, according to a congressional source familiar with the details. The decision will be announced next week, the source confirmed. [CNN]

Nuiqsut, Alaska (Paxson Woelber, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

¶ “Remote And Rural Communities Boosted By Distributed Wind Energy” • St. Mary’s installed a single 900-kilowatt wind turbine in 2019. That turbine produces about 50% of their power. Now, thanks to a four-year study on microgrids, there are data showing that distributed wind energy could be cost-effective to power to many communities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Policy-Driven Supply Constraints Cause Steep Drop In Solar Installations In 2022” • The US added 20.2 GW of solar capacity in 2022, a 16% decrease from 2021. The decline was largely due to an investigation into new anti-circumvention tariffs by the US Commerce Department and equipment detainments under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. [CleanTechnica]

Have a memorably great day.

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March 10 Energy News

March 10, 2023

World:

¶ “Ukraine War: Why Russia’s Infrastructure Strikes Strategy Isn’t Working” • A coordinated wave of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s power infrastructure was the first in almost a month. Western officials believe missiles and other precision-guided weaponry Russia needs to carry out such attacks with any measure of effectiveness is in short supply. [BBC]

Bombed building (Alex Fedorenko, Unsplash)

¶ “Shell Makes Another Green Hydrogen Move, Exxon Gets The Blues” • As oil and gas giants creep slowly into decarbonization mode, some are slower than others. A case in point is green hydrogen. Shell is supporting new solid oxide electrolyzers that push renewable or “green” hydrogen gas from water. Meanwhile, ExxonMobil does what it does best. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Roam’s New Production Facility Could Turn Out 50 Thousand Electric Motorcycles Per Year” • Roam, a Nairobi-based company that develops, designs, and deploys EVs tailored for the African continent, has just unveiled its new production facility. It will allow for an expanded production and have an annual capacity of 50,000 motorcycles. [CleanTechnica]

Roam electric motorcycles (Roam image)

¶ “Latin America Poised To Become Renewable Energy Giant: Report” • Latin America is poised to become a major renewable energy producer, with nearly a billion solar panels’ worth of large-scale clean-electricity projects slated to come online in the next seven years, a report found. The report was by the Global Energy Monitor, a US non-profit. [Daily Times]

¶ “DTEK Completes First Phase Of 500-MW Ukrainian Project” • Despite Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, the DTEK Group is completing construction of the first phase of the Tyligulska wind power plant, with a capacity of 114 MW out of the total declared 500 MW. In spring 2023, its 19 wind turbines will start generating electricity to support Ukraine’s energy grid. [reNews]

Installing a turbine (DTEK image)

¶ “EBRD’s Renewable Energy Project In Central Asia Is Largest To Date” • Two syndicated loans totalling $520 million were set up by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to help construct and put into operation two wind power plants in Uzbekistan, Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Managing Director for Central Asia, told Trend. [Trend News Agency]

¶ “Once Powered Primarily By Coal, Alberta Now Gets More Electricity From Renewables” • Less than a decade ago, Alberta relied on coal for the majority of its electricity needs. Today, the province gets more power from wind, solar and hydro, according to the latest data from the Alberta Electric System Operator. Coal has been replaced largely by natural gas. [CBC]

Alberta highway (Alexis Mette, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “Zen Energy Charging Up First Big Battery Project In SA” • The electricity retailer Zen Energy has announced plans to develop its first utility-scale battery energy storage system after acquiring the 111-MW, 270-MWh Templers Battery storage project in South Australia from UK-based developer Renewable Energy Systems Group. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Tata Power Renewable Energy Signs 510-MW Wind Solar PPA With Delhi Discom” • Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd have signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for a hybrid wind-solar power project. The project is to have capacities of 170 MW of solar power and 340 MW of wind power. [pv magazine India]

Delhi (Laurentiu Morariu, Unsplash)

¶ “Ukraine Says Power Restored At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant” • Ukraine’s energy provider said the power to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has been restored, after it was disconnected by Russian missile attacks. The plant is switching from diesel generators to receiving electricity for its own needs from the United Energy System of Ukraine. [The Nation]

US:

¶ “TikTokers Target Controversial Willow Oil Project” • US government officials are soon to decide on the huge Willow oil project. Environmental groups and some Native residents oppose it because of potential climate impacts and wildlife damage. Opposition has grown rapidly of late as campaign to stop it has gone viral on TikTok. [BBC]

National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (US BLM image)

¶ “How The US Power Grid Is A Target For Far-Right Groups” • Far-right groups are increasingly talking about attacking the US power grid to cause chaos and advance their cause, terrorism experts say. The warnings come after the founder of a neo-Nazi group and a woman he met in prison were charged with plotting to attack power installations. [BBC]

¶ “Sol Systems And Google Team Up To Bring Clean Energy To Low Income Communities” • Low income communities are likely to have drafty windows, insufficient insulation, out of date heating and cooling systems, and doors that don’t close tightly. Sol Systems and Google intend to address some of those issues and bring clean energy, too. [CleanTechnica]

Sol Systems solar farm (Sol Systems image)

¶ “Tesla Is #2 Best Selling Auto Brand In California” • Just ten years after the launch of the Tesla Model S, the California-born automaker has risen to #2 in the Golden State among all auto brands, for all types of car and light truck sales. That was Tesla’s ranking in 2022, only trailing Toyota. And Tesla is well ahead of #3 Ford and #4 Honda. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NREL-Led Team Explores Potential Of Geothermal Energy Storage For All Seasons” • Technologies for Renewable energy storage with long-duration capabilities are essential as the US power grid and wider energy economy move to decarbonize. To meet these needs, researchers are exploring novel means to capture excess energy production. [NREL]

Have a gorgeously developing day.

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March 9 Energy News

March 9, 2023

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Idea For Sucking Up CO₂ From Air Shows Promise” • Scientists outlined a new way of sucking CO₂ from the air and storing it in the sea. The authors say the approach captures CO₂ from the atmosphere up to three times more efficiently than current methods. The gas can be used to make bicarbonate of soda and stored safely in seawater. [BBC]

Tree absorbing CO₂ slowly (Pedro Kümmel, Unsplash)

¶ “Chalmers University Reveals 500-KW Wireless Charging Technology” • Researchers at Chalmers University in Sweden say they developed a wireless technology that charges batteries at up to 500 kW without a cable connection to a charger. The system is not necessarily intended for charging passenger cars, but it could be used by larger vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Anthropogenic Climate Change Poses Systemic Risk To Coffee Cultivation” • Coffee is important to the economies of coffee producing regions. A study published in PLOS Climate by Doug Richardson at CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, Hobart, Tasmania, and colleagues suggests that climate change may significantly affect land where coffee is cultivated. [Phys.org]

Coffee plantation (Pixabay, Pexels)

World:

¶ “UK ‘Must Act Now On Renewable Energy Or Risk Being Left Behind’” • Ministers must take control of the UK’s energy system, removing the barriers to planning permission and problems with the national electricity grid, to build the windfarms and other renewable power needed to meet net-zero goals, government advisers have warned. [The Guardian]

¶ “Statkraft Powers Up UK Greener Grid Park” • Statkraft has announced that its Lister Drive Greener Grid Park in Liverpool is now supplying inertia to the national grid. Traditionally, coal or gas-powered turbines are called upon to provide stability to the grid. Greener Grid Park’s equipment, consist of synchronous compensators and flywheels. [reNews]

Lister Drive Greener Grid Park (Statkraft image)

¶ “Australia Invests $4.29 Billion In Renewable Energy In December Quarter, 10 Times The Previous Three Months” • Large-scale renewable energy and storage investment increased in the final three months of 2022, hitting the largest quarterly level for more than four years. The pace remains inadequate, the Clean Energy Council says. [The Guardian]

¶ “At Least Six Killed In ‘Barbaric’ Russian Missile And Drone Airstrikes” • Russia launched massive missile attacks on Ukraine, striking targets in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and the Black Sea port of Odesa and killing at least six people. The electric power supply to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant was cut, so diesel generators have to supply power for cooling reactors. [Sky News]

Control room (AEA Imagebank, CC-BY-SA 2.0, cropped)

India:

¶ “Adani And Reliance Commit 25 GW Of Renewable Power In India’s Andhra Pradesh” • Reportedly, two of India’s leading industrial conglomerates, Reliance Industries and the Adani Group, announced plans to set up a total of 25 GW in Andhra Pradesh over the next few years. Neither shared details about timeline or investment for the plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Adani Commissions World’s Largest Solar-Wind Hybrid Project” • India’s largest renewable power generation company, Adani Green Energy, announced that it has commissioned a 700-MW solar-wind hybrid project in the northern state of Rajasthan. The company claims that it is the world’s largest hybrid power project. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in Rajasthan (Daniel VILLAFRUELA, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “India Plans 18 Gigawatts Of Pumped Hydro Storage By 2032” • According to a document released by India’s Ministry of Power, the country envisages setting up 18 GW of pumped hydro storage capacity. The projects will be used to meet peak power demand using renewable power. The government estimates 108 MW of pumped storage potential in India. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Your Pollen Allergies Are Already Overwhelming? Here’s Why” • In Atlanta, the pollen count climbed to the “extremely high” range on Monday – the earliest it has done so in 30 years of record-keeping. By Tuesday, the tree pollen count had doubled. Pollen appeared much earlier than normal after an exceptionally warm February in the South and East. [CNN]

Pollen (Tamekia Andress, Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “EPA Rolls Out ‘Strongest Limits Ever’ On Toxic Wastewater From Coal-Fired Power Plants” • The EPA proposed a new rule for regulating wastewater from coal-fired power plants that is stronger than previous rules. EPA Administrator Michael S Regan said the EPA estimates rule would reduce this toxic pollution by over 580 million pounds per year. [CNN]

¶ “First Ammonia-Powered Tugboat Coming To New York This Year” • This week, Amogy announced it is converting a tugboat built in 1957 to ammonia power and expects it to enter service by the end of this year. The tugboat will be outfitted with a 1-MW version of Amogy’s ammonia-powered fuel cell system. The boat is to operate in New York State. [CleanTechnica]

Amogy tugboat (Amogy image)

¶ “Sharp Cold Blasts Punctuate One Of The Warmest, Wettest US Winters On Record” • As the effects of human-induced climate change keep mounting, the nation is warming more dramatically during winter than in any other season. The South and East have been warmer than usual, but another atmospheric river is headed to Calfornia. [Yale Climate Connections]

¶ “Keene Community Power Program To Launch In June” • Keene has joined the towns of Swanzey, Marlborough, and Wilton in the first Community Power buying group in New Hampshire. Residents and other electric customers in Keene will have the opportunity to save 25% on their electric bills beginning in June. [City of Keene]

Have a really entertaining day.

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March 8 Energy News

March 8, 2023

Opinion and Review:

¶ “New Nuclear Plants Have Turned Into Money Pits” • Oops sorry. That two-reactor nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C you thought would cost $19 billion? It’s going to cost $26 billion. Actually, make that $35 billion. Wait, no, actually it’s closer to $40 billion. And those two Westinghouse reactors in Georgia at the Plant Vogtle 3 and 4 site? Well … [Counterpunch]

Pressure vessel arriving at Hinkley Point C (EDF image)

¶ “‘Atomic Bamboozle’ Probes False Hopes For The Future Of Nuclear Power” • Documentarian Jan Haaken explores what she calls a “repackaging” of nuclear power in the form of small modular reactors, or SMRs, in a 46-minute film Atomic Bamboozle. The filmmaker said she was “agnostic” about SMRs before she made the film. [Willamette Week]

World:

¶ “Europe Is Trying To Ditch Planes For Trains. Here’s How That’s Going” • Ever since the “flight shame” movement began encouraging travelers to seek greener alternatives to jet planes, many in Europe have been looking to the continent’s extensive rail network to replace short-haul air travel. There’s definitely been progress. [CNN]

Rail station (Ryan Lu, Unsplash)

¶ “China’s Energy Transition Sees ‘Staggering’ Progress On Renewables – And A Coal Power Boom” • China is making rapid progress in scaling up clean energy, boosting hopes that it could soon start to curb greenhouse gas pollution. But a massive wave of permits for new coal-fired capacity poses a serious challenge to the country’s climate goals. [CNBC]

¶ “Threat Of Rising Seas To Asian Megacities Could Be Way Worse Than We Thought, Study Warns” • Parts of Asia’s largest cities could be under water by 2100 thanks to rising sea levels, according to a study that combines both the impact of climate change with natural oceanic fluctuations. The report appeared in the journal Nature Climate Change. [CNN]

Manila (Paolo Syiaco, Unsplash)

¶ “Germany’s BEVs Up, PHEVs Down” • Germany, Europe’s single largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicles take 21.5% share of sales in February 2023, a drop from 24.9% year on year. Full electric share grew, but plugin hybrid share almost halved. Overall auto volume was still some 18% down from pre-2020 seasonal norms. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “More Mining Companies Are Now Adding Renewable Energy To Their Energy Mix, Says JUWI” • Mining companies often depend on fossil fueled generators for power at mines. Progress in the integration of solar PV, battery storage, grid, and fossil fuel generators are giving mining companies the confidence to adopt solar PVs in their operations. [CleanTechnica]

Elikhulu solar plant (Courtesy of JUWI)

¶ “OX Is Working To Cut Post-Harvest Food Losses In Africa With Its Transport-As-A-Service Model” • The total post-harvest food loss in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated at 37%. OX Delivers wants to help with a more sustainable solution to this problem, in a manner that allows people to afford modern, dependable transport services. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canadian Solar Powers Up Japanese Projects” • Canadian Solar has announced that three of its solar power projects in Japan totalling 42 MW reached commercial operation in the first quarter of 2023. These projects together are set to produce circa 53,000 MWh of renewable energy, which will power about 15,000 households. [reNews]

Solar array (Canadian Solar image)

¶ “China Announces Financial Support For Ukraine’s Nuclear Safety Program” • China announced over $210,000 in assistance to Ukraine for its nuclear safety program. Earlier, Kyiv said talks between Ukraine and Russia on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant had reached a “dead end,” as fighting around the plant has continued for over a year. [Anadolu Agency]

US:

¶ “Shifted Energy Uses Energy Control Strategies To Stabilize The Grid In Hawaii” • Shifted Energy has equipped over 3,000 households in condos and apartment buildings on the islands of Oahu and Maui with its internet connected water heater control modules. That gives Hawaiian Electric a resource as reliable as a power plant for flexibility and control. [CleanTechnica]

Oahu (mar1865, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

¶ “Have No Fear: Electric Vehicles Will Get You Where You Need To Go” • A study in the journal Energies, analyzes data recorded from gasoline-fueled cars over one to three years and models the ability of EVs with differing battery sizes, recharging power, and charging locations to handle the same trips. The results may help dispel range anxiety. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Heat Pumps For Every Home” • Beyond saving the planet, heat pumps provide a better heating experience, using a gentler and more constant type of heat than the on/off blast of a natural gas furnace. Heat pumps run constantly without temperature swings and filter and move more air throughout a house. And they do this inexpensively. [CleanTechnica]

Ductless variable speed heat pump (Mitsubishi image)

¶ “Solar Takes Centre Stage As Renewables And Batteries Dominate New Power Capacity In US” • According to the latest data from the US DOE’s Energy Information Administration, 2023 is set to be a blockbuster year for wind, solar, and batteries. The EIA expects nearly all new generating capacity in the US to be solar, wind, or storage this year. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Copper Labs Partners With NREL To Advance Community Energy Resiliency” • Copper Labs, in partnership with the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is participating in a $3 million grant from the DOE for their combined work on a project focused on automation strategies for rapid energy restoration. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a terrifically serene day.

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March 7 Energy News

March 7, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Historic UN Ocean Treaty Agreed – Greenpeace Statement” • A historic UN Ocean Treaty has finally been agreed at the United Nations after almost two decades of negotiations. It is vital that countries urgently ratify this Treaty, and begin the work to create vast, fully protected ocean sanctuaries covering 30% of oceans by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sesame Solar’s Portable Solar Nanogrids Provide Renewable Electricity On The Go” • Sesame Solar, based in Jackson, MS, manufactures portable solar power and energy storage systems for emergency situations or work scenarios where they provide mobile power. Their technology can be set up quickly at a site, integrating hydrogen power. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Solar Powers Entire Town In South Australia, Slashes Energy Costs” • William Creek is part of the Australian Outback. One of its biggest claims to fame is that its nearest neighbor is Anna Station, the largest cattle ranch in the world – bigger than Israel, actually. Another is that it is the only town in Australia powered entirely by solar energy. [CleanTechnica]

William Creek Pub (Repat, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

¶ “Two-Thirds Of European Battery Production At Risk” • More than two-thirds of lithium-ion battery production planned for Europe is at risk of being delayed, scaled down, or cancelled, new analysis has shown. Europe’s global share of new investment in Li-ion battery production dropped from 41% in 2021 to a meagre 2% in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “50Hertz Hits Renewables Transmission Record” • The share of renewables on the 50Hertz grid has risen to a record 65% – but more speed is needed to reach climate neutrality, according to the operator. 50Hertz added 2500 MW of renewable capacity last year, of which more than 1800 MW was photovoltaic and 700 MW was onshore wind power. [reNews]

50Hertz worker (50Hertz image)

¶ “Queensland To Spend $5 Billion On 1,100-Km CopperString Power Line To Unlock Renewables Potential” • The Queensland government said it will take control of a $5 billion proposal to build a 1,100-km power line connecting Mount Isa to the national grid. It says this will “unlock” development of new-economy mineral deposits. [The Guardian]

¶ “Wave Energy, Storage Pilot Begins Orkney Trials” • A project to power subsea equipment with wave power and subsea energy storage has taken to the seas in Orkney, Scotland. The £2 million demonstrator project, called Renewables for Subsea Power, has connected Mocean Energy’s Blue X wave energy converter  with a Verlume Halo underwater battery. [reNews]

Blue X wave energy converter (Mocean image)

¶ “Adani To Develop 15 GW Of Renewable Energy Projects In Andhra Pradesh” • Adani Group committed to building 15 GW of renewable power projects in Andhra Pradesh, while Reliance announced its 10 GW solar plans for the state. Avaada, Greenko, Indosol, and ReNew have also pledged massive investments into the state’s renewables sector. [pv magazine India]

¶ “Spain Installed 6.93 GW Of PVs In 2022” • Spain deployed about 8,312 MW of new renewable energy capacity in 2022, provisional figures from APPA Renovables show. Of the new capacity, 5,663 MW was grid-scale, of which wind accounted for about 1,382 MW, and 4,281 MW was PVs. There was also 2,649 MW of smaller PVs. [PV Magazine]

Andasol Solar Power Station (kallerna, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

US:

¶ “Biden Will Veto Senate Rule Blocking ESG Investments” • The US Senate voted to reverse a rule that permits retirement plan managers to factor in considerations of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) into their investments. President Biden has threatened to use his veto power to prevent the attempt to block ESG investments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind, Solar, And Batteries Increasingly Account For More New US Power Capacity Additions” • Wind, solar, and battery storage are growing as a share of new generating capacity each year. These technologies make up 82% of the new utility-scale generating capacity that developers plan to bring online in the US this year, DOE data shows. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Honda Pushes Forward With New Stationary Hydrogen Power Station For Backup Power” • Honda unveiled a new stationary fuel cell power system that will serve as the backup power for its data center at its American Honda headquarters in Torrance, California. The stationary power system uses second life fuel cells taken from Honda vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Green Hydrogen’ Would Squander Renewable Energy Resources In Massachusetts” • Efforts by natural gas utilities in Massachusetts to replace 20% of their gas with “green hydrogen” would use more clean energy than the state’s ambitious offshore wind energy buildout would produce, a report says. Heat pumps would be more effective. [Inside Climate News]

Heat pumps (Kristoferb, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Virginia Regulators Approve Bill Increase For Appalachian Power’s Fuel Costs” • Virginia regulators approved an average monthly residential bill increase of $20.17 for customers of Appalachian Power, the state’s second-largest electric utility, so that the company can recover increased fuel costs. The utility had sought an increase of $33.24. [Virginia Mercury]

¶ “Vogtle 3 Reaches Initial Criticality” • Vogtle 3, one of the two 1,117-MW Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors Southern Nuclear Operating Co is building in Georgia, has reached initial criticality. The event marks a pivotal milestone for the Generation III+ pressurized water reactor, the first of its kind built in the US. [POWER Magazine]

Have an extraordinarily beautiful day.

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March 6 Energy News

March 6, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Gas Stove Culture War Boils Over: What Did The Industry Know, And When Did They Know It?” • After a study found connections between use of natural gas stoves and childhood asthma, it was denounced by the gas industry. But it turns out that the gas industry had investigated the possibility and found the connection fifty years ago. [CleanTechnica]

Gas stove (SubZero image)

¶ “Minority German Party Tries To Block EU Rule To Go 100% BEV By 2035” • After agreeing to the EU regulation to ban light internal combustion vehicles by 2035, the FDP, the smallest member of the German governing coalition, is walking back its agreement. The author advises the EU to give the FDP what they want. It will be an empty promise. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Economic Case For Renewable Energy” • Energy security is a pressing issue of our time. Without energy security, we can forget prosperity. The power outages that Bangladesh has gone through recently may have resulted from market volatility, but they did give a glimpse of what may come if Bangladesh does not secure its energy supply. [The Daily Star]

Wind turbine (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Idaho Falls: The Untold Story Of America’s First Nuclear Accident” • On a quiet morning in 1961, the residents of Idaho Falls were jolted awake by an explosion. It had happened at the nearby National Reactor Testing Station, where a nuclear reactor had experienced a catastrophic meltdown, releasing a cloud of radioactive steam. [NewsBreak Original]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Speeding Up Extreme Fast Charging Capability In Lithium-Ion Batteries” • While most research on batteries is focused on the design of active materials and improved mass transfer of electrolytes, one study provides a different approach via the design of specific binder material which promotes lithium-ion intercalation of the active material. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a car (Ernest Ojeh, Unsplash)

¶ “Scientists Found Stray Dogs Of Chernobyl Are ‘Genetically Distinct’ 40 Years After The Massive Radiation Leak” • In a report published in the journal Science Advances, scientists examined the genetic structure of 302 dogs representing three distinct “free-roaming dog populations” at distances from the Chernobyl plant to understand radiation exposure better. [Yahoo]

World:

¶ “Costa Rica Reached Highest EV Market Share In The Americas In 2022” • Costa Rica retained its leadership position within the Latin American region in 2022 with a record market share of 7.3% for the all-electric light passenger vehicle segment. In fact, Costa Rica ranked as the country with the highest market share for the BEV segment in the Americas. [CleanTechnica]

Limón, Costa Rica (Balou46, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Shell, SEPH, DOE Ink Deal For EV Charging Stations Powered By Renewable Energy” • Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp and Shell Energy Philippines have signed a tripartite deal with the Philippine Department of Energy for the deployment of EV charging stations powered with renewable energy, according to a statement by the companies. [ABS-CBN News]

¶ “NPC Deputy Calls For More Storage Facilities To Ensure Safe, Stable Supplies” • In China, national legislator has called for construction of more high-capacity energy storage facilities on the power consumption side as the country strives to increase the use of clean energy as a major approach to achieving its carbon neutrality goal. [China Daily]

Wind power plants in Xinjiang (Chris Lim, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Townsville Primed For Renewable Energy Training As Cabinet Heads Back To TAFE” • The Premier, Ministers, and local MPs helped turn the sod on the new Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training Facility and an Advanced Manufacturing Skills Lab to start construction of Technical and Further Education Queensland’s Bohle campus. [Media Statements]

¶ “TotalEnergies Acquires 200-MW Polish Solar PV Pipeline” • TotalEnergies is developing its renewable activities in Poland by acquiring a 200-MW development pipeline of solar projects. The projects are in northern and western Poland. They are expected to come online starting 2025. The company is in support of the European Green Deal. [reNews]

Solar array (TotalEnergies image)

¶ “Netherlands Produced 20% More Renewable Energy Last Year” • In the Netherlands, electricity generated by renewable sources, such as wind and solar, increased by 20% last year. Electricity generated by fossil fuel sources fell by 11%, Statistics Netherlands said. However, the largest share of energy in the country still comes from fossil fuels. [NL Times]

US:

¶ “Why Frankfort, Kentucky, Set A 2023 Clean Energy Goal” • NREL became involved after a city commissioner saw how the laboratory helped Louisville, Kentucky, plan for its own clean energy goals. NREL can guide cities along the process, providing helpful data so a city can plan out how it can reach clean energy goals equitably. [CleanTechnica]

Downtown Frankfort (Kaplansa, public domain)

¶ “Sixth Warmest January On Record In Lower 48” • This January was the warmest on record in seven states, including all of New England. It was also the sixth warmest on record for the Lower 48 states. Five of the six warmest Januaries in the US have occurred since 1990. We have entered a new chapter in the climate and ecological crisis. [Augusta Free Press]

¶ “How Climate’s Future Could Impact New York’s History” • Across the state, extreme weather, including hurricanes, rising sea levels and the heat island effect, are changing the way people live. But the impacts of climate change will also affect economies and culture, prompting NYSERDA to do a two-year assessment of the state’s future. [Times Union]

Have a delightfully cozy day.

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March 5 Energy News

March 5, 2023

World:

¶ “Countries Agree Historic Oceans Treaty To Protect The High Seas” • Nearly 200 countries have agreed to a legally-binding treaty to protect marine life in international waters, which cover around half of the planet’s surface, but have long been essentially lawless. The treaty provides legal tools to establish and manage marine protected areas. [CNN]

Whale (Thomas Kelley, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Mexican Factory Could Be Largest Yet, Model Y ‘Juniper’ Upgrade Coming” • Following a highly touted Investor Day event this week that turned out to be rather blah, there is some real news about Tesla that should get people excited. The president of Mexico says that Tesla agreed to build its next gigafactory in Santa Catarina, Nuevo León. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A new generation of airships is taking to the skies” • Other than its enormous size, though, this “whale” has very little to do with its animal namesake. It’s an airship, and French aeronautics company Flying Whales hopes its hybrid-electric, helium-lift vessel will change the shape of sustainable transport. Other companies are pushing similar products. [CNN]

Airlander 10 hybrid aircraft (Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd)

¶ “WA’s Slow Renewable Energy Transition Raises Doubts About Whether Coal Power Stations Can Close By 2029” • The Western Australian government committed to closing the state’s last coal-fired power plant by 2029 to help accelerate the road to net zero. But data from the Clean Energy Regulator showed the state is not moving fast enough to do that. [ABC]

¶ “France’s Plugin EVs Hit 24% In February, Dacia Spring Still Boss” • France’s plugin electric vehicle share reached 23.8% in February, up from 20.1% year on year. Full electrics grew share, whilst plugin hybrids remained static. Overall auto volume was 126,237 units, up over 9% YOY. The Dacia Spring was once again the best selling full electric. [CleanTechnica]

Dacia Spring Electric (Alexander Migl, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “No Land, No Problem For Netherlands In Solar Drive” • The Netherlands has to innovate to find places to put new renewable energy capacity. It already has an average of two solar panels per person, but to meet a 2030 goal to generate 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, developers are building over lakes, landfills, and farms. [Taipei Times]

¶ “21-MW Nkhotakota Solar PV Plant In Malawi Energized” • Malawi, a southern African country with a population of about 19 million, has one of Africa’s lowest electrification rates. Access to electricity is still below 20%. Serengeti Energy, an Independent Power Producer, announced that it energized the 21-MW (AC) Nkhotakhota 1 PV plant. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Courtesy of Serengeti Energy)

¶ “Iran Pledges To Restore Monitoring Equipment At Nuclear Sites, Says IAEA” • Iran has pledged to restore cameras and other monitoring equipment at its nuclear sites and to allow more inspections at a facility where particles of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade were detected, according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “As The West’s Drought Eases, This Area Remains In The Worst On Record – And It’s Hitting Farmers Hard” • As much-needed winter storms alleviate drought conditions in California and southern parts of Oregon, the deluge of snow and rain in the West largely missed Central Oregon, leaving Crook, Jefferson, and Deschutes counties dry. [CNN]

Central Oregon (Tequask, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “US Navy Prowls For E-Fuels From The Seven Seas” • The field of e-fuels has been stirring into life in recent years, thanks in part to the surging market for green hydrogen. The missing link is a ready supply of carbon dioxide. Various land-based systems under way to capture it from the air, but a team at MIT is onto a seagoing solution. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oil Heartland Texas Embraces Renewable Energy” • Modern Texas was built on oil, and its production has long been a source of pride. But now, areas that moved to the steady rhythm of oil derricks for more than a century are making the state a national leader in wind and solar energy. A convergence of factors has led to this unexpected result. [Geo.tv]

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March 4 Energy News

March 4, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Women Working For A Clean, Sustainable Future” • RMI is made up of more than 600 passionate, committed, climate change experts, 57% of whom are women. March is Women’s History Month, when we celebrate women’s contributions to society. Meet some of the women of RMI who work to make our world clean and sustainable. [CleanTechnica]

Woman working (IRENA image)

World:

¶ “Germany Threatens To Derail EU Green Deal Over Fossil Car Phaseout” • The German Transport Minister said his country may abstain from an EU vote to end the sale of new combustion engine cars and vans from 2035. The final vote by ministers was expected to be a formality, but Germany is pushing to continue making the vehicles for use with e-fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Orkney Subsea Power Link To Mainland Gets Go-Ahead” • A high-voltage subsea power cable to carry renewable energy from Orkney to mainland Scotland has been approved in principle by regulators. Power firm SSEN formally requested to lay the cable in 2018, but first had to demonstrate to the energy regulator Ofgem that it would be used. [BBC]

NKT Victoria laying a subsea cable to Shetland (SSEN image)

¶ “BEVs Outsell Hybrids In Australian EV Market In February” • Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) hit almost 7% of the Australian light vehicle market in February. That is over double the total from February 2022 and a slight increase from January 2023. If we add the 454 plugin hybrids sold in February, the penetration rate of plugin vehicles rises to 7.2%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norway’s Plugins Continue To Grow, Tesla Model Y Bestseller” • February saw Norway’s plugin electric vehicle share continue to grow to 90.1%, from 86.1% year on year. All the growth came from full electrics, whilst plugin hybrids lost share. The overall auto volume was 7,439 units, down some 9% YOY. The bestselling vehicle was the Tesla Model Y. [CleanTechnica]

Oslo (Darya Tryfanava, Unsplash)

¶ “EWEC Meets Over 80% Of Power Demand Using Renewable And Clean Energy Sources” • For the first time, on 10 February, at 2:26 pm, Emirates Water and Electricity Company met 80% of its power demand using carbon-free energy from its solar and nuclear energy plants, supplying about 6.2 GW of the total 7.7 GW system power demand. [Utilities Middle East]

¶ “Goa Aims For 100% Renewable Energy By 2050, Plans To Generate 150 MW Of Green Energy In Two Years” • Goa’s Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant, announced that the government of the Indian state has set an ambitious goal of having 100% renewable energy for all sectors by 2050. He was addressing a conference on clean energy in Panaji. [SolarQuarter]

Street in Panaji, capital of Goa (Ronak Naik, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Scout Chooses South Carolina For New Factory” • Scout Motors is an independent US company backed by Volkswagen Group. Its CEO is Scott Keogh, formerly head of Volkswagen of America. In a press release dated March 3, 2023, Scout Motors announced it will build its first manufacturing facility to make EVs in South Carolina. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Redwood Materials Shares Lessons Learned After One Year Of Operation” • Redwood Materials has recycled used EV battery packs for a year now. With EVs accounting for nearly 19% of all new car sales in California in 2022, the company says that the management of end-of-life battery packs there will serve as a model for other states. [CleanTechnica]

Redwood Materials workers (Redwood Materials image)

¶ “Beacon Wind Project Will Repower ‘Asthma Alley’ With Renewable Energy Facility In Astoria” • Equinor Wind US and bp in the US announced two initiatives in Queens. They will invest $215 million to buy the Astoria Gas Turbines site to turn it into a converter station for offshore wind power, and they will invest in community resources. [Astoria Post]

¶ “West Warms To Geothermal Energy As A Path To Clean Power Goals” • Backers think geothermal can play an important role in the clean energy transition, but they say its potential won’t be unlocked without government investments, utility regulations, and other policies to encourage development. Governors in the western US are getting interested. [Alaska Beacon]

Geothermal power plant in Iceland (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “As More Americans Struggle To Pay Power Bills, States Must Be ‘Deliberate’ In Equity Efforts: Report” • A substantial national effort is underway to ensure that the clean energy transition is equitable across racial groups and income levels, but analysis from the Clean Energy States Alliance warns that states must be deliberate in equity efforts. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Renewable Energy Institutional Investment Has Gone “From Niche To Mainstream”” • While there have been bumps along the road, the energy transition has attracted “an unprecedented wave of investment,” Andrew Redinger of KeyBanc Capital Markets said. Institutional investment in renewable energy went “from niche to mainstream” in 24 months. [pv magazine USA]

Wind turbines (Priscila Nissen, Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Unpredictable Cherry Blossom Bloom Underscores Climate Change Concerns” • After a mild winter in the Washington metro region triggered some local cherry blossom trees to bloom in early February, the National Park Service announced that this spring’s peak bloom for the iconic trees will occur between March 23 and March 25. [Frederick News-Post]

¶ “Biden’s DOE Announces $1.2 Billion To Extend Or Restart The Life Of Nuclear Plants” • The Biden administration is offering money to recently shuttered nuclear plants that want to come back to life. The funding is part of a $6 billion program offered to prevent the early closings of nuclear reactors as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. [EcoWatch]

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March 3 Energy News

March 3, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Why Republicans Are Spreading The Lie That Whales Are Being Killed By Wind Farms” • On February 19, 2023, hundreds of protesters filled the boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. Their cause was ostensibly to protect the whales. The protest is not supported by science. But it is supported by some oil-industry interests. [Salon.com]

Offshore wind turbine (Grahame Jenkins, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla’s Futuristic Approach To Manufacturing, And Critical “Next-Generation Vehicle”” • The Financial Times reported, “Tesla executives said a wide range of efficiency and cost improvements has put the company on track to launch a far cheaper electric vehicle.” This lower-priced vehicle would be manufactured using Tesla’s “next-generation platform.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Boreal Forests Could Be A Planet-Warming ‘Time Bomb’ As Wildfires Expand, Says New Study” • Boreal forest fires usually make up 10% of global wildfire-related carbon pollution. But in 2021, their contribution soared to 23%, according to the study, as extreme drought and heatwaves in Siberia and Canada helped drive intense fires. [CNN]

Boreal forest in Canada (peupleloup, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Study: Heat Pumps Are Two To Three Times Cheaper Than Green Hydrogen In Europe” • A study, published in the academic journal Energy Conversion and Management found that replacing natural gas in homes with green hydrogen would cost about two to three times more than replacing the natural gas with electric heat pumps. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sweden’s Plugins Continue To Grow Despite Economic Downturn” • In February, Sweden’s plugin electric vehicles continued to dominate with a 54.0% share of auto sales, up from 51.6% year on year. Full electric share grew substantially, whilst plugin hybrid share decreased. Overall auto volume was 18,442 units, down some 13% YOY. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “VW Is Working To Grow Its Footprint In Africa, And Electric Mobility Is Part Of The Vision” • VW has a South African factory, where it can produce 162,000 vehicles per year. Currently, 75% of the vehicles produced there are exported to global markets such as Germany, UK, and Japan. VW is working to grow its footprint in Africa. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Shell Energy Delivers Battery-Backed Renewables Solution For NSW” • Shell Energy Australia said sixteen New South Wales government buildings are being equipped with batteries as part of an initiative to help Property and Development New South Wales offset costs and reduce carbon emissions from its property portfolio. [pv magazine Australia]

Batteries for NSW office sites (NSW Government image)

¶ “World Bank Nominee Banga Is A ‘Big Believer’ In Climate Science” • President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the World Bank, Ajay Banga, said there’s sufficient scientific evidence that burning fossil fuels contributes to climate change, seeking to address criticism about the lender’s commitment to the issue under its outgoing chief. [Yahoo Finance]

US:

¶ “Climate Advocates Are Rallying Against The Willow Project. The White House Is Eyeing Concessions To Soften The Blow” • Just days before the Biden administration releases its first major oil drilling project decision, the White House indicated it may reduce the scope of the controversial project. It is criticised by climate advocates fiercely. [CNN]

¶ “Florida Republican Wants To Ban Electric Vehicles From Hurricane Evacuations” • In another case of Florida political absurdity, a Republican state senator in the Sunshine State wants to ban EVs from hurricane evacuation routes. Republican State Senator Jonathan Martin is afraid that the EV batteries will die in a traffic jam. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Some Californians Get Snow-Stranded As Twisters Hit Texas And Louisiana” • Snow-stranded Californians in mountain areas are desperately digging out after a “once-in-a-generation” winter storm, even as more snow was forecast for the weekend. In the latest US wild weather, twisters touched down at the same time, in Texas and Louisiana. [BBC]

Tornado (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Entergy Louisiana Seeks Approval To Add Nearly 225 MW Of Solar Power To Its Generation Mix” • To meet growing demands for renewable energy and support economic development in the state, Entergy Louisiana filed a request with the Louisiana Public Service Commission to approve nearly 225 MW of new solar resources. [PR Newswire]

¶ “With Offshore Wind Power In Oregon’s Future, Experts Gather In Portland To Discuss Opportunities And Challenges” • Sometime in the near future, Oregon’s coast could be home to some massive wind turbines. Some, close to 1,000 feet tall and having up to 3 GW of capacity, are planned for two areas about 12 miles offshore near the California border. [KGW]

Floating wind turbine (US DOE image)

¶ “More than 200 Deals Power A 24.5-GW Corporate Renewable Capacity Surge In 2022” • Renewable energy capacity contracted by US corporations soared 45% in the past 12 months. S&P Global Commodity Insights found that all business sectors being tracked boosted their green energy portfolio markedly, with increases ranging from 16% to 79%. [S&P Global]

¶ “NRC Approves Move To Keep Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Open” • The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California can continue operating while PG&E seeks a license renewal for the 2,300-MW facility to extend its lifecycle. The NRC has approved PG&E’s request for an exemption to keep Diablo Canyon open past 2025. [POWER Magazine]

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March 2 Energy News

March 2, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Renewables Face Two Major Challenges” • We need more renewable energy and we need it yesterday, but there are barriers that prevent that from happening as quickly as it should. There are some who spread fear, uncertainty and doubt, sometimes for pay. Another significant barrier to renewables is getting them connected to the utility grid. [CleanTechnica]

Renewables (Wheatbridge Renewable Energy Facility)

¶ “US Transportation Blueprint: Good Intentions, Weak Diagnosis, And Possibly Irrelevant” • There is a lot to like in the new US transportation decarbonization blueprint. But the authors didn’t delve deeply enough into the causes of current transportation mode choices and patterns and compare them to leading practices globally. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Some Sierra Nevada Forests Are Being Stranded By Climate Change” • Iconic forests that stretch across Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite national parks are beginning to fray at the edges as the warming climate is creating unsuitable growing conditions for them, according to a study led by Stanford University researchers. [National Parks Traveler]

Yosemite National Park (Nate Foong, Unsplash)

¶ “Sequential Hurricanes Are Becoming More Common Because Of Climate Changes” • Scientists believe that climate change is making hurricanes more dangerous. And when multiple storms hit in a short period of time, it can overwhelm emergency responses, which has been happening repeatedly during the Atlantic hurricane season. [Texas Public Radio]

World:

¶ “SUVs Produced More Planet-Heating Pollution Than Most Countries Last Year” • While new car sales have suffered, sports utility vehicle sales increased. Last year, they were for nearly half of all cars sold, with particular growth in the US, India, and Europe, according to the International Energy Agency. Their climate cost is high. [CNN]

SUV (Hamza Younas, Unsplash)

¶ “Greta Thunberg has joined a protest against wind farms. Here’s why” • Greta Thunberg joined Sámi people, the only recognized Indigenous group in the EU, who are protesting wind turbines on land they use for grazing reindeer. Sámi people feel their land has been appropriated to deal with the climate crisis caused by others. [CNN]

¶ “Fire Knocks Out Half Of Argentina’s Power Grid” • Over half of Argentina has been left without power after a fire affected the Argentine power grid. The fire reportedly started in open fields, affecting crucial power lines in the coastal zone and putting a nuclear power station offline. The blackout comes in the middle of a heatwave and drought. [BBC]

Buenos Aires (Fermin Rodriguez Penelas, Unsplash)

¶ “How Fake Copyright Complaints Are Muzzling Journalists” • Journalists have been forced to temporarily take down articles critical of powerful oil lobbyists due to the exploitation of US copyright law, according to a report. A legal process has been abused by “unknown parties” who create backdated fake articles to target critical news reports. [BBC]

¶ “Dutch BEV Sales Back On Growth Trajectory – 89% Growth” • In January 2023, we saw healthy growth of new fully electric car registrations in the Netherlands: 61% growth year over year to 4,974 registrations. February is even better. BEV registrations grew 89% to 6,892, reaching 24.5% market share. The tailpipe car market is up, but by much less. [CleanTechnica]

Amsterdam (Clarisa Ravasotti, Unsplash)

¶ “UK Renewables Produced Enough Electricity To ‘Power Every UK Home’ Through The Winter, Analysts Say” • British-based renewables generated more electricity than gas did this winter. Renewables produced enough to power every UK home through the winter, according to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. [The Independent]

¶ “Renewables Help Limit 2022 CO₂ Emissions To 1%” • Global energy-related CO₂ emissions rose by under 1% in 2022, less than initially feared, as the growth of solar, wind, EVs, heat pumps and energy efficiency helped limit the impacts of increased use of coal and oil amid the global energy crisis, the International Energy Agency’s latest analysis found. [reNews]

Wind turbines (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Europe Steps On The Gas, Revs Up Renewable Energy” • Though often fractious, Europe showed surprising solidarity as it faced an energy crisis in the winter of 2022-2023. Renewables not only reduce carbon emissions, but also provide energy security, enhance the capability to plan for future supplies and manage costs. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

US:

¶ “USPS Orders 9,250 Ford E-Transit Vans And 14,000 EV Charging Stations” • There’s news from the US Postal Service about electrifying its fleet of vehicles. USPS says it has awarded contracts to Ford to purchase 9,250 left-hand-drive regular production E-Transit electric vans and 14,000 EV charging stations to support their use. [CleanTechnica]

USPS electric delivery vehicle (USPS image)

¶ “New York Times Ad Blasts Automaker Climate Hypocrisy, Urges Action From President Biden” • The Center for Biological Diversity and Green Latinos placed a full-page ad in The New York Times blasting automaker doublespeak on clean vehicles. The ad calls on President Biden to make the manufacturers cut carbon emissions 75% by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Here’s The Good And Bad News On The US Clean Energy Transition” • In key sectors of the US economy, the transition to clean energy is well underway. It’s just not happening fast enough to forestall the worst impacts of climate change. That’s the overriding message of the Sustainable Energy in America 2023 Factbook released Wednesday. [Canary Media]

Have an astonishingly pleasant day.

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March 1 Energy News

March 1, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Agriculture Is A Massive Climate Problem, And Ag Drones Are A Key Wedge” • How many benefits can one technology have? When it comes to agricultural drones, quite a few. Agribusinesses buy them because they save a lot of money and increase crop yield. The green benefits are a fringe benefit the rest of us will appreciate more and more. [CleanTechnica]

Cheap alternative to an airplane (david henrichs, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “NIO Builds Battery Factory, CATL Reacts, Lithium Prices Implode” • The price of lithium carbonate went to as much as $86,000 a ton last year, and the cost of batteries for EVs climbed by 24% after nine years of steady decline. But CATL offered NIO and Zeekr deals based on an expected price by the end of this year of $30,000 a ton. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nearly One In Three Homes In Australia Covered In Solar Panels” • Australia has been the global leader in penetration of rooftop PVs for a decade or so. Now, data from SunWiz shows that nearly one in three Australian homes has rooftop solar PVs. Rooftop solar power is about to become #1 in the country in terms of generating capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar panels (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “South Africa Energy Crisis At Critical Stage As Load-Shedding Continues” • Eskom reported that nearly 16 GW of generating capacity was offline during the last weekend of January due to breakdowns, while another 6.5 GW was out of service for planned maintenance. Government data shows that South Africa only has about 54 GW of capacity. [POWER Magazine]

¶ “China Widens Renewable Energy Supply Lead With Wind Power Push” • For over a decade, China has been the world’s largest and fastest-growing producer of renewable energy, but it has widened its lead over its rivals through an acceleration in the roll out of wind capacity since 2021. In 2022, China generated 47% more wind power than all of Europe. [Nasdaq]

Wind turbine (Marquitta Spagnolo, Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “TransAlta Building Massive Renewable Energy Project In Southwestern Alberta” • TransAlta has announced it will build a multi-million-dollar renewable energy project on the site of a former coal mine. Montem’s website says the project includes a hydroelectric power system, a green hydrogen electrolyser, and a 100-MW offsite wind farm. [CTV News Calgary]

¶ “Orlen Raises Renewables Ambition” • Central European energy company Orlen has committed to increasing investments in renewable energy sources as part of an updated strategy to 2030. It will deliver over 9 GW of installed renewable energy capacity (onshore and offshore wind, solar PV) by 2030, a four-fold increase on a previous target. [reNews]

Solar panels (Pixabay, Pexels)

¶ “Eleven EU States Unite To Strengthen Nuclear Power” • Eleven EU member states vowed to “strengthen cooperation” on nuclear energy, saying this would help Europe move away from fossil fuels. They agreed “to support new projects” alongside existing nuclear plants, according to a statement released while the EU energy ministers were meeting. [The Nation]

US:

¶ “Central Heat Pump Water Heaters Can Act As Massive Water Batteries, Seattle Pilot Project Shows” • Central heat pump water heaters present a tremendous opportunity to reduce the energy used in water heating and can act as giant thermal batteries. This was made clear in the first of its kind Bayview Tower pilot project in Seattle. [CleanTechnica]

Central heat pump water heater (Courtesy of Ecotope)

¶ “Li-Cycle Scores $375 Million DOE Loan For Battery Recycling Development” • Li-Cycle, based in Toronto, is the first recycling company in North America actually supplying reclaimed battery grade lithium. The company announced that it qualified for a conditional $375 million loan from the US DOE for its Rochester Hub near Rochester, New York. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Seven States And DC Had More Than Ten Plug-In Vehicle Registrations Per Thousand People In 2022” • In 2022, California led the nation in plug-in vehicle registrations with 27.55 per thousand people. The next highest state was Hawaii with 15.43 PEV registrations per thousand people. More than half of the states had over five. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging (Kindel Media, Pexels, cropped)

¶ “Seeing Gold In Spinning Turbines: Why Texas Is Winning US Renewable Race” • A report by Climate Central, a nonprofit news organization, found that Texas generates the most energy from windpower by far, partly because the state is geographically suitable for windpower, but also because land regulation and tax systems in the state favor it. [Newsweek]

¶ “BLM Explores Utility-Scale Solar In Montana” • The Bureau of Land Management is exploring solar development in Montana as part of a larger White House initiative to use federal land to fight climate change. The agency is seeking input on the feasibility of such projects through the end of February. It manages 8 million acres in Montana. [Explore Big Sky]

Montana (Kerry, Pexels)

¶ “Municipal Franchise Agreements Could Drive Up To 911 TWh Of Renewable Energ” • In recent years, a growing number of municipalities have developed ambitious clean energy goals and targets for emissions. Researchers from the NREL argue that such city-utility franchise agreements offer an immense policy opportunity. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “CEC Determines Diablo Canyon Power Plant Needed To Support Grid Reliability” • The California Energy Commission approved an analysis recommending the state pursue extending operation of Diablo Canyon Power Plant through 2030 to ensure reliability. This comes as California confronts the impacts of climate change. [California Energy Commission]

Have a luxuriously exuberant day.

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February 28 Energy News

February 28, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “ESG Investments Are Suddenly Appealing To Some Red State Leaders” • The federal endorsement of sustainable investments is prompting some red state legislators to embrace Environmental, Social, and Governance positions. What was once a red state onslaught against ESG investments is now a lot more like a pink puff of occasional air. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in rural India (Yahoo! Blog, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “In Ultrathin Layers, NREL Researchers Find A Path To Better Materials” • For more than three decades, scientists have known that the addition of cadmium chloride creates better-performing CdTe solar cells. But they have not understood exactly why, until now. The answer has implications for materials science that go well beyond solar cells. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Tiny Diamond Sphere That Could Unlock Clean Power” • The National Ignition Facility, part of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has done such fusion energy experiments before, but this time the energy that came out of the reaction, was more than the laser power used to trigger it. It’s one more step in the research process. [BBC]

Developing a fuel capsule (LLNL image)

World:

¶ “Sun, Wind Aplenty, Spain Vies To Lead The EU In Green Hydrogen” • With lots of sun and wind, Spain is positioning itself as Europe’s future leader in green hydrogen production to clean up heavy industries. Spain had announced a Hydrogen Roadmap in 2020, but the sector has greater importance in the EU since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. [MSN]

¶ “Eskom Gets Ready To Support The Growth Of The E-Mobility Sector In South Africa” • Eskom, the utility serving South Africa, is undertaking a pilot project to introduce EVs for both its utility and passenger vehicle fleets. Eskom has submitted the residential time-of-use charging tariff to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for approval. [CleanTechnica]

Eskom EV event (Eskom image)

¶ “Falck Launches Its First Electric Ambulance” • Falck is an international leader in healthcare, ambulance services, and fire preparedness. Based in Denmark, Falck has activities in 26 countries and employs 25,000 people. Now, it will include EVs in the fleet, starting with an electric ambulance on the last winter day in Copenhagen. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Installation Growth Expected To Reach 700 GW By 2025” • Solar polysilicon prices dropped immensely in recent years, then bounced up as supply couldn’t keep up with demand. Now, they seem to be dropping again as production capacity is increased. Rethink Energy expects that China will produce 432 to 540 GW of solar panels in 2023. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Melany Klapper, Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Electric Vehicle Logging Truck Launches For Green Triangle Trial In South Australia” • A truck running entirely on electric power has been launched to transport logs across the Green Triangle forestry region in south-east South Australia. The truck was converted from an existing diesel vehicle and is powered by a 720-horsepower electric motor. [ABC]

¶ “Campaigners Fear Government Will Drop Onshore Windfarm Promise In England” • Fears that the government is quietly planning to renege on promises to lift the ban on onshore windfarms in England have prompted a large group of green campaigners, business leaders and prominent figures to protest to ministers. [The Guardian]

¶ “France Seeks ‘Nuclear Alliance’ At EU Energy Meeting” • EU energy ministers are meeting on February 27 and 28 to discuss issues ranging from security of supply to electricity market reform. But on the sidelines, French energy minister Agnes Pannier-Runache has invited twelve other countries to discuss a “nuclear alliance.” [EUobserver]

US:

¶ “Fervo Energy Plans Direct Air Capture Facility Powered By Geothermal Heat And Electricity” • Fervo Energy announced on February 23 that it will design and engineer a fully integrated geothermal and direct air capture facility. The system will be based on use of both geothermal heat and power to capture carbon dioxide. [CleanTechnica]

Fervo Energy installation (Fervo Energy image)

¶ “Hurricanes Could Push Deeper Into US In Coming Decades” • Stronger storms fueled by climate change will penetrate deeper into the US and threaten parts of the country unaccustomed to high-speed winds, according to a new analysis of the country’s vulnerability to tropical cyclones. The report was released by the nonprofit First Street Foundation.  [NBC News]

¶ “Army Of Spiral-Welding Wind Turbine Tower Trucks Sets Forth From…Texas?” • Elected officials in Texas may rant against renewable energy, but the state is a clean power pace-setter. The latest example is a forthcoming fleet of trucks bearing new spiral-welding technology that can lower the cost of wind turbine towers and raise the height. [CleanTechnica]

Spiral-welding system (Courtesy of Keystone Tower Systems)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Lithium-Free Battery Aims To Serve As Backup For Grid-Scale Renewable Energy” • A research team, led by the DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, demonstrated a design for a grid energy-storage battery that uses sodium and aluminum as its primary components. The cell is well-suited for long discharge cycles, in excess of 24 hours. [Electronic Design]

¶ “The Dream Of Mini Nuclear Plants Hangs In The Balance” • This month, utilities across the West were facing a weighty decision: whether to pull the plug on their nuclear dream. NuScale had informed members of a group of them that the estimated costs of building the six 77-MW reactors had risen by more than 50% to $9.3 billion. [WIRED]

Have a phenomenally fine day.

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February 27 Energy News

February 27, 2023

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sand To Green In Africa” • French-Moroccan startup Sand to Green aims to turn the desert from threat to food producer. The startup is using drip irrigation with desalinated sea or brackish water. Sand to Green has been field testing its techniques for the past three years in Morocco. The farming systems have proven themselves resilient. [CleanTechnica]

Sand to Green plantation (Sand to Green image)

¶ “Climate Change Could Leave Yukon Plants With Nowhere To Go” • As climate change pushes some plants northward, a study suggests several unique species in Yukon and Alaska could have nowhere to go. The paper, published in the journal Diversity and Distributions, found that some species may lose nearly all suitable habitat within the next two decades. [CTV News]

World:

¶ “Green Hydrogen Project Is New ‘World’s Biggest’” • A Hydrogen Insight report says China has begun construction on the world’s biggest green hydrogen project. The Kuqa plant is projected to produce 20,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year. Hydrogen from Kuqa is expected to replace grey H₂ made from fossil gas at Sinopec’s Tahe refinery. [CleanTechnica]

Workers at the ready (Courtesy of Sinopec)

¶ “Utility-Scale Wind, Solar PV, And CSP Increased From 467 MW In 2013 To 6,230 MW In 2022 In South Africa” • South Africa’s grid is dominated by coal. The Statistics of Utility-Scale Power Generation In South Africa In 2022 Report of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research says the contribution from coal dropped below 80% for the first time. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Approved Most Coal Power Plants Since 2015 Last Year, Making Environmental Goals Harder” • China embarked on a massive expansion of its coal-fired power capacity in response to last summer’s historic power crisis, approving the equivalent of two large coal power plants per week, according to the findings of new research. [South China Morning Post]

Coal power plant in China (Hanno Böck, CC0)

¶ “Consultation Begins To Revive Stalled Renewable Energy Projects” • Pakistan’s government has initiated consultation for a way forward on dozens of stalled wind and solar PV projects, after being highlighted by Sindh and Balochistan governments and the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, which is interested in six stalled projects. [Business Recorder]

¶ “Greencoat Sees Portfolio Power Production Rise In 2022” • Greencoat Renewables saw increased electricity production last year as it expanded its number of renewable energy assets. According to the company’s results for 2022, its portfolio generated 2,487 GWh of electricity in 2022, an increase from 2021’s 1,522 GWh. [reNews]

Wind turbines (Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

¶ “Jordan Brings 200-MW Solar Farm Online” • The Baynouna Solar Energy Company has inaugurated its 200-MW Baynouna Solar Park in Jordan. The project will produce over 560 GWh of energy annually – enough to power 160,000 homes. The plant also displaces 360,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year, equivalent to taking nearly 80,000 cars off the road. [reNews]

¶ “’Transparency’ Eases Concerns Over Nuclear Wastewater Release Into The Pacific Ocean” • Japan’s “transparency” over its plan to release treated nuclear wastewater from the crippled Fukushima plant into the Pacific Ocean this year has helped ease the region’s concerns over the discharge, the Pacific Islands Forum says. [Stuff.co.nz]

Island in Micronesia (Marek Okon, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “US Auto Industry Down Over 3 Million Sales (19%) Since 2019” • The US auto industry has declined over the past few years. Compared to 2019, American auto industry’s annual sales were down by more than 3 million (19%). The big exception is Tesla. This shows the internal combustion vehicle market declined more than the overall market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Red States Leading The US In Solar And Wind Production, New Report Shows” • A report by Climate Central shows how the US capacity to generate renewable energy shot up last year, and surprisingly, red states lead the nation in solar and wind power production. National wind and solar capacity grew 16% compared to 2021. [The Guardian]

Wind farm (Freida Mcmurtrie, Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Will Utah’s Great Salt Lake disappear?” • Utah’s Great Salt Lake doesn’t look so “great” these days. This place where tourists once bobbed up and down like corks in water far saltier than the ocean is now quite literally turning to dust. Climate change and the megadrought haven’t done the lake any favors, but also, water is being diverted away from the lake. [CBS News]

¶ “New Hampshire Climate Activists Applaud ‘Community Power ‘ Movement” • More Granite Staters are expected to get their electricity from renewable energy sources this spring, as so-called “community power” programs continue to expand. So far, 26 municipalities have joined the New Hampshire Community Power Coalition. [Public News Service]

Have a wonderfully useful day.

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February 26 Energy News

February 26, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Dear Maryland: It’s Time To Drive Clean Trucks And Buses” • Every soul walking this earth deserves to breathe clean air. But there are counties across Maryland have air that hasn’t met the EPA’s standards for decades, causing public health problems ranging from asthma to premature death. Much of that pollution comes from diesel engines. [CleanTechnica]

Bus charging station in Maryland (Courtesy of Schneider Electric)

¶ “Why India Inc Needs Energy Storage Solutions And How It Can Do It” • Increasingly, buildings, transport, and industry are betting on electrification to reduce carbon emissions. India is expected to add more than 350 GW of renewable power capacity in this decade. This makes it necessary to add balancing sources like energy storage systems. [The Economic Times]

¶ “Pakistan’s Textile Industry: Barriers To Renewable Energy Transition” • With the growing unsustainable management of energy demand, Pakistan’s continuous reliance on imported fossil fuels has affected the country’s energy security. Pakistan’s textile industry is one major sector that can benefit massively from the renewable energy. [Business Recorder]

Textile machinery (s2 art, Unsplash)

¶ “Russian Nuclear Fuel: The Habit Europe Just Can’t Break” • Europe is on track to kick its addiction to Russian fossil fuels, but can’t seem to replicate that success with nuclear energy a year into the Ukraine war. Coal imports from Russia have dropped to zero. Russia’s share of the gas market has dropped to 10%. But the nuclear fuel addiction is tougher. [POLITICO]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Feed Additives Could Cut Methane Emissions From Livestock By 90%” • Scientists appear to have solved one of the biggest environmental challenges facing the meat industry: how to reduce methane emissions from cow burps. Dutch company Royal DSM says it has a product that can reduce cows’ methane emissions by up to 92%. [ABC]

Royal DSM executive Mark van Nieuwland (Royal DSM image)

World:

¶ “Volvo OTA Updates Pass 1 Million Mark, XC90 Recharge Earns Highest IIHS Safety Rating” • Volvo has announced that it completed more than a million over-the-air software updates globally. This eleventh OTA update from Volvo covered 350,000 vehicles and was its largest update ever. Now owners can give the cars commands over a phone. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “KE To Add 1,182 MW Of Renewable Energy By 2030” • In Pakistan, K-Electric plans to add 1,182 MW of renewable energy under its Rs484 billion ($1.88 billion) investment plan by 2030. In the plan, the power utility said it would add 2,172 MW by 2030 and the major share would be contributed through the renewable energy sources. [The News International]

Solar panels in Pakistan (Ab PrinceGabol, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Ukraine’s Energy Minister Says Russia Has Damaged Half Of Country’s Energy Infrastructure” • Ukraine’s Energy Minister German Galushchenko says about half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has been damaged by shelling and rocket attacks since Russia started targeting it in October. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is one of the plants shelled. [CBC]

US:

¶ “US Electric Car Sales Increased 65% In 2022” • Tesla continues to dominate the US electric car sales market, which can make it seem like not much is changing. However, the biggest story is probably that the US electric car market as a whole continues to grow strongly. In 2022, our analysis shows that battery EV sales are up 65% compared to 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Teslas charging (Tesla image)

¶ “It’s Official: California Will Be Tesla’s Engineering And AI Headquarters” • They’ve bickered and disagreed in the past, but all that seemed to be forgotten as California Governor Gavin Newsom and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the former Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Palo Alto would become Tesla’s engineering and AI base of operations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “West Virginia Gov Justice Greenlights Funding For Renewable Energy Battery Plant” • West Virginia’s governor signed a bill that gives $105 million in state funding for a Form Energy battery plant in Weirton, a former steel town. The 55-acre plant will produce iron-air batteries and is anticipated to create at least 750 jobs in a $760 million investment. [Voonze]

Old Wierton steel mill in  (Carol M Highsmith, Library of Congress)

¶ “Tesla’s Global Engineering HQ In Palo Alto – Opening Party Highlights” • Tesla has acquired and restored the HP Garage in Palo Alto, California, for the company’s new Global Engineering HQ space. This is actually the birthplace of Silicon Valley, with a historical significance in the rise of Palo Alto as the world-leading center for technology. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Christian Case For Fighting Climate Change Is Being Tested In Eastern Oregon” • Peter Fargo felt he had been called by God to an uncommon type of missionary work. He left his job to dedicate himself to fighting climate change. And from his home in Baker City, Fargo plans to spread his message across Eastern Oregon. [Oregon Public Broadcasting]

Have an invigoratingly relaxed day.

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February 25 Energy News

February 25, 2023

Interview:

¶ “Linda Pentz Gunter on the Nuclear Corruption Cases” • Linda Pentz Gunter of Beyond Nuclear tracks nuclear power industry corruption. “Nuclear power is almost completely dependent on the government for not only its continued existence, but also for new reactor construction,” she said. No wonder it corrupts our politics. [Corporate Crime Reporter]

Nuclear power plant (Clora Torrence, Pixy.org, CC0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Pathbreaking Groundwater Research” • Michael Kiparsky, founding director of the Wheeler Water Institute at Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy & the Environments, has spent years working on water policy, along with a team from several branches of the University of California system. Now there is funding to take the work nationwide. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Dry Canals, Low Rivers And Shrunken Lakes: Europe Braces For Severe Drought Amid Winter Heatwave” • A winter heatwave, record low levels of rain and a startling lack of snow in Europe are pushing rivers, canals, and lakes across the continent to alarmingly low levels, with experts warning there could be repeat of last year’s severe droughts. [CNN]

Drought (Markus Spiske, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “South Africa Introduces Solar Panel Tax Incentives For Adopting Renewables” • In his National Budget Speech on 22 February, South Africa’s Minister of Finance announced new short-term tax incentives for South Africans to go solar. This is in a bid to increase distributed solar power and help protect citizens from load-shedding. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “13% Of New Cars Were BEVs In France In January” • The car market in France is still 17% below January 2020, the last normal month, but it is now recovering (+9% YOY). The French plugin passenger car market has hit the accelerator, however, largely thanks to pure battery EVs jumping 43%, to 14,649 registrations, for a 13% market share. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Poised To Drive Growth In The Power Sector” • We forecast global non-hydro renewables electricity capacity could increase threefold from 2023 to 2032. By 2032, non-hydro renewables could account for nearly one-third of the world’s power generation. Our report explores the factors we see supporting robust growth. [Benzinga]

¶ “Australia Steps Up Its Renewable Energy Game With Proposed Offshore Wind Zone” • The federal government of Australia has opened a consultation on a offshore wind zone off New South Wales. The government said the proposed zone could support the future of onshore manufacturing with “cheaper, cleaner energy.” [Offshore Engineer Magazine]

Proposed offshore site (Australian government)

¶ “Steady Rise In Belgium’s Renewable Energy Consumption In 2021” • Renewable energy as a share of Belgians’ total energy consumption rose in 2021, accounting for 13.01% of energy use according to FPS Economy. This increase just allowed Belgium to meet the EU’s target for Member States’ renewable energy consumption. [The Brussels Times]

¶ “Big Oil’s Net-Zero Pledges Not Aligned With Climate Science” • The net-zero emissions pledges touted by Canada’s oil and gas sector ring false as it continues its push to expand fossil fuels and oppose climate policy, reports InfluenceMap, an independent think tank that maintains a database of climate policy lobbying by corporate and industry associations. [Penticton Herald]

Pump jack (Delfino Barboza, Unsplash)

¶ “Iran Building 2,000 MW Nuclear Power Plant In Defiance Of Sanctions: Nuclear Chief” • Iran’s nuclear chief says a nuclear power plant in the southwestern province of Khuzestan aims to generate 2,000 MW of electricity, defying decades of sanctions that have targeted the country’s nuclear program. He said it will produce 300 MW in a preliminary phase. [Press TV]

US:

¶ “Arcimoto Gets More Funding, Goes Back Into Production. Is This Part Of A Bigger Trend?” • Arcimoto, a company making the 3-wheeled tandem-seating EVs, had financial problems and was on the brink of bankruptcy. Now, financial news outlets report that Arcimoto has got itself back on track with about $6 million of additional funding. [CleanTechnica]

Arcimoto (Courtesy of Arcimoto)

¶ “How Much Land Would It Require To Get Most Of Our Electricity From Wind And Solar?” • Critics of wind and solar often raise concerns about how much land would be required to decarbonize the US power sector. An NREL study shows that it would take  an area comparable to or even smaller than the fossil fuel industry’s current footprint. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sunrun Installed Almost A Gigawatt Of Solar In 2022!” • Sunrun, the leading provider of residential solar, storage and energy services in America, announced financial results for 2022. Sunrun says it added new installed solar energy capacity in 2022 by 25.2% YOY to 991 MW, modestly exceeding guidance. That’s almost 1 GW in one year! [CleanTechnica]

Solar PV system (Sunrun image)

¶ “Three New-Tech Geothermal Plans To Be Considered For Boosting Power At The Geysers” • Three cutting-edge pilot projects that could give California constant emission-free electricity are being considered to go ahead in and around massive geothermal field in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties. [North Bay Business Journal]

¶ “City’s Decarbonization Plan Reduces Gas Usage, Increases Renewable Energy” • San Diego’s updated Climate Action Plan calls for eliminating nearly all natural gas use from buildings in the city by 2035. That entails eliminating natural gas hookups in all new construction, as well as reducing 90% of natural gas use in existing buildings. [SDNews.com]

Have a fabulously lovely day.

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February 24 Energy News

February 24, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “How New York’s Utilities Are Spreading Disinformation About Renewable Energy” • Worried about the climate crisis? Live in Brooklyn, Long Island, or Upstate? If so, your gas bill is paying for anti-climate disinformation. Nearly all of New York’s gas utilities are working to defeat our state’s nation-leading climate law, the 2019 Climate Act. [City Limits]

Brooklyn (Nelson Ndongala, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “One Of Europe’s Top Banks Is Being Sued For Financing Fossil Fuels” • Climate activist groups took legal action against BNP Paribas, one of Europe’s biggest banks, alleging the French lender’s loans to big oil and gas companies violate a legally binding duty to ensure its activities do not do harm to the environment. [CNN]

¶ “The Battle For Germany Begins – Tesla Leads On Models And Brand, Volkswagen Group First Among OEMs” • After subsidies caused a December sales rush with historic performance, the Germany plugin vehicle market was bound to have a hangover month in January. The market started the year with a 33% drop over the same month last year. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Michal Lauko, Unsplash)

¶ “Adani Group’s Two Renewable Energy Projects Approved By Sri Lanka” • Sri Lanka’s investment promotion body approved two renewable energy projects of India’s Adani group to be set up in the north and eastern regions of the island nation at a total investment of $442 million. They are wind farms with capacities of 250 MW and 100 MW. [Telegraph India]

¶ “US Energy Secretary Discusses Plan To ‘Warproof’ Ukraine’s Electrical Grid” • Russian attacks have targeted Ukraine’s power grid since mid-October. The US is sending a third round of help to restore damaged infrastructure. The ultimate goal is to help Ukraine build a new “warproof” distributed power grid, the US Secretary of Energy said. [Voice of America]

Energy Secretary Granholm (US Dept of Labor, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “India To Increase Renewable Energy In Ports To 60%” • India’s Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways revealed its plans to increase the share of renewable energy to 60%. Under the Green Shipping initiative, major ports implemented various activities that would help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the ports and shipping sector. [Ships & Ports]

¶ “TotalEnergies Signs Renewable Power Purchase Agreements With Sasol And Air Liquide” • TotalEnergies announced that it has signed Corporate Power Purchase Agreements with Sasol South Africa and Air Liquide Large Industries South Africa for the supply of 260 MW capacity of renewable electricity over a term of 20 years. [Eurasia Review]

Wind farm in South Africa (Kalle Pihlajasaari, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Poland Signs Agreement with US For Its First Nuclear Power Plant” • The Polish government and Westinghouse have signed a contract to have Poland’s first nuclear power plant designed and built. The agreement was signed by the president of the Polish state-owned Polskie Elektrownie Jądrowe and representatives of the US firm Westinghouse. [El American]

US:

¶ “It’s Never Been This Warm In February. Here’s Why That’s Not Good” • More than 130 cities from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes could set new records for daily and monthly high temperatures this week. Highs will climb up to 80 degrees as far north as Ohio and West Virginia – certainly unusual, but getting less so in the warming climate. [CNN]

Cherry blossoms (Kristina Paukshtite, Pexels)

¶ “Los Angeles Blizzard Warning Is First Since 1989” • A massive storm has brought major blizzards and temperatures below freezing to much of the northern US. Forecasters are predicting record snowfall of up to eight feet (2.4 meters) in mountains to the east of Los Angeles by Saturday. The city of Santa Barbara could have up to five feet. [BBC]

¶ “New Design For Lithium-Air Battery Could Offer Much Longer Driving Range” • Scientists at the US DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and Illinois Institute of Technology have a lithium-air battery that could make a thousand mile EV range real. Such batteries could even power domestic airplanes and long-haul trucks one day. [CleanTechnica]

Heart Aerospace’s ES-19 (Courtesy of United Airlines)

¶ “Interior Department Proposes First-Ever Offshore Wind Sale In Gulf Of Mexico” • The Biden-Harris administration took a step to grow America’s clean energy economy, as the Interior Department proposed the first offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. This is part of the Administration’s actions to expand offshore wind opportunities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “PG&E Will Test Technologies Of Tesla And Sonnen Virtual Power Plants” • This summer, Pacific Gas & Electric will run tests on two different virtual power plants – one that uses residential batteries supplied by Sunrun, and one that uses Tesla Powerwall batteries. One operates like extra baseload power, and the other is more like a peaker plant. [CleanTechnica]

Installation (Sunrun image)

¶ “New Legislation Would Reform Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard” • H.320, An act relating to the Renewable Energy Standard, is a proposal to reform Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard to prioritize the development of new renewable resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout Vermont and the rest of New England. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Entergy Texas To Purchase 150 MW Of Solar Power” • Entergy Texas customers will soon benefit from a cleaner energy resource in Polk County. Longroad Energy announced commencement of construction of Umbriel Solar, a 150-MW PV project. Entergy Texas has entered into a long-term Power Purchase Agreement for Umbriel’s total output. [Entergy Newsroom]

Have an entirely auspicious day.

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February 23 Energy News

February 23, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Red States Lap Up IRA Dollars From The Government They Despise” • A lot of conservatives hated the IRA and pushed hard against it. But now the IRA is in force and, wonder of wonders, Republicans love it! So-called red states, where hatred of “the other” is rampant, will be the biggest beneficiaries of the credits and incentives baked into the IRA. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Holly Ireland, Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Want People To Support Climate Legislation? Explain It In Everyday Language” • What can be done to help more people translate their climate concerns into approval of more legislative mitigation policies? Well, it might help to start using everyday language rather than complicated legalese or scientific discourse to expose the climate crisis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why A US National Electric Grid Would Be Great For The Climate – And Is Nearly Impossible” • Building large-scale transmission lines to carry electricity across the US could be an extremely cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also improving reliability of the country’s energy grid. But it would not be easy. [CNBC]

Transmission lines (Jay Heike, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Holcim’s 14Trees Delivers The Largest 3D-Printed Affordable Housing Project, And It Is In Kenya!” • 14Trees, a joint venture with British International Investment, the UK’s Development Finance Institution, impact investor and Holcim, has completed the successful construction of the largest 3D-printed affordable housing project to date. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Magna Expands In Ontario To Support F-150 Lightning And Other Future EV Production” • Magna, an automotive supplier, disclosed its plan to invest over $470 million in expanding its operations in Ontario. This expansion includes a new battery enclosures facility that will cater to the Ford F-150 Lightning and other OEM programs. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning (Image courtesy of Ford)

¶ “Roam Teams Up With Hitachi To Electrify Transport Across Africa” • With nearly 150 employees, Roam is one of the leading providers of EVs in Africa. Founded in 2017, it was one of the first companies to deliver locally produced electric motorcycles and buses. Roam was recently listed on TIME magazine’s top 100 most innovative companies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “CP Foods Installing Solar Panels At 180 Facilities In Renewable Energy Push” • Agro-industrial and food conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company has announced that it plans to increase its usage of green energy through the installation of solar panels at 180 animal farms, feed mills, and processing plants across Thailand. [SeafoodSource]

Solar panels (Courtesy of CP Foods)

¶ “Europe ‘Must Strengthen Manufacturing Capacities’” • Federal Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck has said both Germany and Europe must strengthen production capacities for renewable energies. The Minister was speaking at the the third virtual production summit to strengthen energy transition technologies. [reNews]

¶ “Newcastle Airport Signs Up To Go 100% Renewable, Seven Years Early” • In New South Wales, Newcastle Airport will look to hit its 100% renewable energy target this year – seven years ahead of schedule – under an energy purchase agreement with major renewable energy retailer Flow Power. The plan took effect in January and lasts eight years. [Renew Economy]

Wind turbines (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Costs Continue To Rise For The Hinkley Point Nuclear Megaproject” • For close to a decade, Great Britain’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power project has served as the go-to punching bag for anti-nuclear activists. Sure enough, the gift that keeps giving has furnished still another reason to be chary of big nuclear projects. [Yahoo Finance]

US:

¶ “North America Hit By Blizzards And Heat Wave” • Record snow falls are expected in Minnesota. Los Angeles is under a blizzard warning. Low temperatures of -9°F are forcast for Montana. At the same time, high temperatures may be above 90°F in Florida, and record highs could be set in other parts of the South. Extreme weather is hitting the US. [BBC]

Snow (Les Anderson, Unsplash)

¶ “Los Angeles Meteorologists Marvel At Blizzard Warnings” • Meteorologist Evelyn Taft of station KCAL has been covering California weather for nearly 14 years. This is the first time she has seen a blizzard warning in the SoCal area. Meteorologists say such extreme weather events are likely to grow more severe as the climate changes. [BBC]

¶ “New Oil & Gas Terminals In The Gulf Of Mexico Will Unlock 24 Billion Tons Of Greenhouse Gases” • A story in The Guardian says the federal government quietly approved the Sea Port oil terminal project, a proposed offshore oil platform 35 miles off the Texas coast. And it will decide soon whether to allow three other oil terminals nearby. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore oil & gas platform (Global Energy Monitor image)

¶ “More Than Half Of New US Electricity Generating Capacity In 2023 Will Be Solar” • Developers plan to add 54.5 GW of new utility-scale electric-generating capacity to the US power grid in 2023, according the EIA’s Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory. More than half of the new capacity will be solar (54%), followed by battery storage (17%). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “University of Michigan Seeking 25 MW Of On-Campus Solar Power” • The University of Michigan plans to build on-campus solar installations with a capacity of 25 MW on the Dearborn, Flint, and Ann Arbor campuses, including Michigan Medicine and Athletics. The university recently called for proposals from vendors to build projects. [The University Record]

Have an inconceivably refreshing day.

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February 22 Energy News

February 22, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “What Europe Showed The World About Renewable Energy” • One year ago, on the cusp of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it seemed unimaginable that renewable energy in Europe could overtake electricity from oil and gas. But not even a year later, it did. By the end of 2022, wind and solar combined overtook natural gas in electricity generation. [Vox]

Wind turbines (Pixy.org, CC0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Volkswagen Develops More Efficient Drivetrain Components For Electric Cars” • To push an EV down the road using only battery power requires that electricity be used as efficiently as possible. Volkswagen says that its engineers have designed new powertrain components for its EVs that are more efficient than what has been in use. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Antarctic Sea Ice Hit Record Lows Again. Scientists Wonder If It’s ‘The Beginning Of The End’” • Antarctic sea ice has reached record low levels for the second time in two years, with some scientists alarmed that dramatic drops are a signal the climate crisis may now be more clearly influencing this vast, complex and isolated region. [CNN]

Penguins, but no snow (Derek Oyen, Unsplash)

¶ “Venice Canals Run Dry Amid Fears Italy May Face Another Drought” • Weeks of dry winter weather have raised concerns that Italy could face another drought after the emergency of last summer. The Alps have had less than half of the normal snowfall, scientists and environmental groups say. The drought has even had effects on canals in Venice. [CNN]

¶ “How The Climate Crisis Is Threatening Tequila” • Warming temperatures have become a growing concern for the Mexican long-nosed bat. “You wouldn’t have tequila if you had no bats, because that’s the only thing that pollinates the agave plant that makes tequila,” said Ron Magill, the communications director and a wildlife expert at Zoo Miami. [CNN]

Inspecting agave (David García Sandoval, Unsplash)

¶ “Netherlands Starts The Year With A 15% BEV Share” • In a recovering overall market in the Netherlands (+7% year on year), battery EVs surged +62% YOY in January, to 5,010 registrations. They started the year with 15% market share – their best January ever. Plugin hybrid EVs were down by 4%, to 3,890 registrations for a 12% market share. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Heat Pump Mania Is Sweeping The World” • The heat pump has gone from curiosity to the hottest thing on everyone’s wish list. Why is that? Because people in places like Maine and Alaska are tired of draining their bank accounts each month to pay for heating oil and propane. And in Europe, people are very aware of a need to stop using natural gas. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (State of Rhode Island)

¶ “The UK’s £450 Million Boiler Upgrade Scheme Is Failing To Deliver” • A scheme to encourage UK households to upgrade their gas boilers to heat pumps and other low-carbon alternatives is failing to deliver after suffering a “disappointingly low” take-up, a parliamentary report has said. The programs will need a boost to meet its goals. [The Guardian]

¶ “NSW Announces $1.5 Billion Clean Energy Superpower Fund To Fast Track Renewable Energy” • Many households in New South Wales are unable to get the most out of their solar systems due to network constraints. The government has set up a $1.5 billion Clean Energy Superpower Fund to address this and other similar issues. [Energy Matters]

Solar plant in NSW (Jeremy Buckingham, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Warning To Keep Nuclear Energy Plants Out Of Scotland” • The SNP’s Westminster energy spokesman said, “If the Tories think they will bring down energy bills by building nuclear power stations that won’t be ready for years to come then they are more delusional than we thought.” The warning went to the new energy minister, an Aberdeeshire MP. [Aberdeen Live]

US:

¶ “Electric RVing Could Be A Lot Cleaner At This Solar-Equipped RV Park” • Thousand Trails, the operator of RV campgrounds and resorts, with more than 80 locations in 23 states and British Columbia, has installed a new premium RV storage section at the Wilderness Lakes Campground in Menifee, California. It has a capacity of 1,469 kW. [CleanTechnica]

Thousand Trails Wilderness Lakes RV area (Thousand Trails image)

¶ “Tracking The Post-IRA Boom In The US EV Supply Chain” • The Inflation Reduction Act is a grand experiment in how the US government can accelerate the clean energy transition and spur the industrial sectors needed to support it. A project measuring how consequential the IRA has been for the US EV industry has a lot to report after six months. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Republican Operatives Are Astroturfing Opposition To Solar Power” • Some grassroots groups opposed to local solar projects have something in common: a group in Virginia with powerful GOP connections. Citizens for Responsible Solar gives advice on strategy, according to an expose by National Public Radio and news collective Floodlight. [Yahoo News]

Solar system (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Eleven States Have Committed To 100% Clean Electricity” • On February 7, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law a clean energy bill that requires the state’s utilities to get 100% of their electricity from carbon-free energy sources by 2040. The state has joined ten others with commitments to 100% clean or renewable energy. [Environment America]

¶ “Constellation Is Spending $800 Million To Upgrade Two Nuclear Power Plants” • Upgrades will be made at the Byron and Braidwood nuclear power plants. Constellation Energy says it will increase generating capacity by 135 MW in the next six years with an $800 million investment in new turbines. Support is coming from state and local governments. [WCMY]

Have an unpretentiously sublime day.

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February 21 Energy News

February 21, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “Tesla’s Big Gross Margin Advantage” • It has been common for naysayers to write that Tesla “lost money on every car it sold.” But Tesla earns more money for every vehicle it sells than any of its rivals. A lot more. Reuters shows that Big T earns an average of $9,574 per vehicle sold. For second-place GM, it’s $2,150, and it’s $1,550 for plug-in powerhouse BYD. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Taun Stewart, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is Air Pollution Causing Us To Lose Our Sense Of Smell?” • Exposure to PM2.5 – small airborne pollution particles – has been linked with “olfactory dysfunction,” but typically only in occupational or industrial settings. New research is starting to show the true scale of the pollution we breathe in every day. The findings have relevance for us all. [BBC]

¶ “NASA Is Mapping Duststorms From Space With This New High-Tech Device” • Sand and dust storms happen in much of the world. According to the UN, dust storms are increasing due to climate change, land degradation, and drought. Now, climate scientists tracking the storms can work with NASA on a new instrument called EMIT. [CNN]

Dust storm in Texas (Jakeorin, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “World Risks ‘Doom Loop,’ IPPR Warns” • A report by the Institute For Public Policy Research, a progressive UK think tank, warns that the world risks creating a “doom loop” in which we spend so much time and energy responding to the ever-rising effects of climate change that we lose sight of the need to address their causes. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Chinese Provinces And Florida Among The Most Climate-Vulnerable Regions In The World, Analysis Finds” • China is home to 16 of the 20 regions of the world most vulnerable to climate change, a study shows, with some of the world’s most important manufacturing hubs at risk. Florida is most at risk of places outside China. [CNN]

Suzhou, Jiangsu, China (Z Ruikoto, Unsplash)

¶ “Tata Motors And Uber Sign MOU For 25,000 XPRES-T EVs” • Tata Motors has been revolutionizing the Indian automotive market with its pioneering efforts, and it leads the e-mobility wave in India. Now, Tata Motors says that it has signed an MOU with Uber in India. Some 25,000 XPRES-T EVs will go into Uber India’s Premium Category service. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volvo CE Invests In Battery Pack Production” • Volvo CE has announced plans to invest millions into its excavator plant in Changwon, South Korea, to build battery packs like the one in the upcoming EC230 electric excavator. The factory is around 1.1 million square meters, (an almost unimaginable 11.84 million square feet). [CleanTechnica]

Volvo CE EC230 (Volvo CE image)

¶ “China’s Renewable Energy Revolution Is Running Into Roadblocks” • The renewable energy industry in China faces hurdles, and it still needs policy support to overcome some issues, China’s National Energy Administration said. Large-scale solar and wind projects increasingly are competing with agriculture for land. [Oil Price]

¶ “Australia Must Ramp Up On Renewables To Avert Blackouts: Market Operator” • Australia’s eastern states could face blackout risks from the middle of this decade if renewable energy projects are not ramped up as the country moves rapidly away from its dependency on coal-fired power stations, the energy market operator warned. [Reuters]

Windy Hill wind farm (Lepidlizard, public domain)

¶ “EU Climate Diplomacy Deal On Hold As Nuclear Dispute Deepens” • The EU failed to adopt climate policies, owing to a deepening spat over the role of nuclear energy in the green transition. France and some other countries want policies to promote nuclear energy for cutting CO₂ emissions. Germany and its allies oppose nuclear power. [EURACTIV.com]

US:

¶ “Woke In The Streets: In-Road Wireless EV Charging Comes To Indiana” • The dream of an in-road, wireless EV charging system is not so dreamy any more. Indiana is among the states developing systems that will enable EVs to recharge while in motion. That sort of idea delights of some of the Indiana office holders, but not all. [CleanTechnica]

Interstate 80 in Indiana (Cassini83, public domain)

¶ “NYC Fire Boss Wants More E-Bike Battery Regulations” • New York City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh has called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to take action and help prevent what it calls “sub-standard” lithium-ion batteries from entering the US. Kavanagh made the appeal after hundreds of fires in NYC. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Idaho National Laboratory Is Developing Software To Help Farmers Manage Water Usage” • Idaho National Laboratory scientists explore water supply and extreme weather events through INL’s research efforts. Now, a team from the lab is working with Mickelsen Farms to develop software that can support farms in droughts. [CleanTechnica]

Supplying water (Courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory)

¶ “Renewable Energy Deployment Down 16% In 2022” • Last year, renewable energy deployment fell short of expectations, adding 16% less capacity in 2022 than in 2021. With increased costs of shipping and grid interconnection and emerging trade wars, supply chains struggled to keep up. A 30% growth rate had been expected. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “New York Transmission Upgrades Are To Make Room For Renewables” • The New York State Public Service Commission authorized utilities to develop 62 local transmission upgrades to reduce congestion in three upstate regions as called for New York’s Climate Act. New York aims to reach clean energy targets of 70% renewable electricity by 2030. [pv magazine USA]

Have an unpretentiously exemplary day.

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February 20 Energy News

February 20, 2023

Opinion:

¶ “How Much EV Range Is Enough? How To Maximize EV Range” • The answer to the question of how much EV range is enough depends on the individual and their needs and habits. The author answers based on some of his own background owning various EVs. As he does that, he also tackles the question of how big of a battery one needs. [CleanTechnica]

GMC Electric Hummer (Image courtesy of GMC)

World:

¶ “Dozens Killed As Deadly Storms Hit Brazilian Coast” • In the Brazilian state of São Paulo, authorities say at least 36 people were killed in heavy flooding and landslides. Over 600 mm (23.6 inches) of rain fell in some areas in one day, twice the expected amount for the month. Extreme weather events are expected to be more common with climate change. [BBC]

¶ “BasiGo Partners With OMA Services To Bring Electric Buses To More Routes In Nairobi” • BasiGo, a Kenyan electric mobility startup working to revolutionize the public transportation sector by providing public transport bus owners with a cost-effective electric alternative to diesel buses, has delivered BYD K6 electric buses to another operator in Nairobi. [CleanTechnica]

Bus on a lift (Courtesy of BasiGo)

¶ “Australia’s Light Electric Vehicle Fleet Grows To 83,000 In 2022, And 79% Are BEVs” • Australia’s EV market has been a bit slow compared to similar markets around the world. The good news is that the market is finally starting to show some significant traction, according to the Electric Vehicle Council’s recently published report for 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Energy Innovator MGA Thermal Backed By Shell To Bring 24-7 Renewable Power To The Grid” • Global energy giant Shell has backed Australian clean energy startup MGA Thermal. MGA is to develop a long-duration renewable energy storage system that can potentially transform coal-fired power plants into green energy hubs. [Business News Australia]

Artist’s impression of a green energy facility by MGA Thermal

¶ “India Plans To Export Solar Power” • By 2026, Indian industry will be able to manufacture 100 MW of solar modules annually, and help the country be a net solar PV exporter. This would aid India’s target of installing 500 GW of electricity capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030, the Secretary of the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy, told The Hindu. [The Hindu]

¶ “French Energy Giant EDF Posts Record Losses Due To Nuclear Reactor Outages” • French energy giant EDF posted a record loss for 2022 after necessary repairs to its nuclear power reactors saw a serious decline in electricity output. A company spokesperson said stress corrosion on sixteen of its reactors as a key reason for its output decline. [Utilities Middle East]

Cooling towers (Pixy.org, CC0)

¶ “Russia Blocks Access Of IAEA To Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant – Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry” • Russian forces are not allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency to rotate their monitoring group at the Zaporizhzha nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry claims. By occupying the plant, Russia violates norms of international law. [UAZMI – Ukraine News]

¶ “Uranium Enriched To 6% Less Than Required To Make Nuclear Weapons Found At Nuclear Plant In Iran” • Citing two anonymous high-ranking diplomats, Bloomberg reported on February 19 that nuclear inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency found uranium had been enriched to 84% in Iran. [Euro Weekly News]

Iranian nuclear reactor (Nanking2012, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

US:

¶ “Wasted Wind Energy And Tenable Transmission During Winter Storm Elliott” • It has been nearly two months since Winter Storm Elliott caused energy emergencies across the US and rolling blackouts throughout the Southeast. Among the lessons are that windpower and interregional transmission can reduce blackouts. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Buses, Beer, And CARB Kept BYD Busy Through The Winter” • At the Harbor Trucking Association’s Zero-Emission Ride and Drive event in Long Beach, California, BYD showcased the 8TT and 8Y all-electric trucks, tractors like those now operated in the port of Long Beach. Heavy EVs are a crucial part of reducing carbon emissions. [CleanTechnica]

BYD K8M electric bus (Courtesy of BYD)

¶ “In Skeptical Wyoming, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Pushes For Renewable Energy” • Talking about climate change in Wyoming, where roughly half the state government revenue is from fossil fuels, can make for “tough conversation.” But for the second time in four years, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby toured the state to talk about “climate solutions.” [JHNewsAndGuide.com]

¶ “Public Lands In The US Have Long Been Disposed To Fossil Fuel Companies. Now, The Lands Are Being Offered To Solar Companies” • The Bureau of Land Management has outlined a plan that could reshape the development of solar energy projects in the Western United States as the nation transitions to more renewable energy sources. [Inside Climate News]

Have a superbly superior day.

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