Posts Tagged ‘renewable power’

March 2 Energy News

March 2, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

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

Science and Technology:

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

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

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

World:

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

Enel-X charging point

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

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

Zero-emission ship (Photo courtesy of Yara)

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

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

Wind farm (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)

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

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

Kiamal Solar Farm in Victoria (Mars Australia)

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

US:

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

Jennifer M Granholm (Screenshot, via the US DOE)

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

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

Have a blissfully blossoming day.

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March 1 Energy News

March 1, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

Science and Technology:

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

World:

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

Wind farm (Greencoat Renewables image)

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

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

Offshore wind turbine (RWE Renewables image)

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

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

V150-5.6 MW prototype installation

India:

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

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

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

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

US:

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

GreenPower AV Star (GreenPower image)

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

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

View from a wind turbine (EDPR image)

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

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

Have satisfactorily resplendent day.

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February 28 Energy News

February 28, 2021

Opinion:

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

Earth (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, public domain)

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

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

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

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

World:

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

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

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

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

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

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

US:

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

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

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

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

Have an absurdly delightful day.

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February 27 Energy News

February 27, 2021

Opinion:

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

Tesla (Matt Henry, Unsplash)

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

World:

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

Salvaged jalopy (Image courtesy of Salon Privé)

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

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

Kia charging (Image courtesy of Kia)

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

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

Cooling tower in France (Thomas Millot, Unsplash)

US:

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

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

Pump jack (Jeff W, Unsplash)

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

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

Thomas Built Bus, powered by Proterra

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

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

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

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

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

Have a prodigiously tranquil day.

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February 26 Energy News

February 26, 2021

Opinion:

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

Wind turbines (Thomas Richter, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

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

World:

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

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

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

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

British gas electric van (Image courtesy of Vauxhall)

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

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

Rewa Solar Park (Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited)

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

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

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

US:

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

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

Construction in Lordstown (Roger Mastroianni for General Motors)

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

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

Texas natural gas graph (US EIA image)

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

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

Have a majestically beautiful day.

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February 25 Energy News

February 25, 2021

Opinion:

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

Paris, Texas (Courtesy of the National Weather Service)

Science and Technology:

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

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

Heat pump operations (Dandelion Energy image)

World:

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

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

Charging a truck (Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

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

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

Wind turbines (Abby Anaday, Unsplash)

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

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

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

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

US:

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

USPS Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (USPS image)

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

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

Sequoia National Forest (Suresh Ramamoorthy, Unsplash)

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

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

Have an extraordinarily frolicsome  day.

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February 24 Energy News

February 24, 2021

Science and Technology:

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

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

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

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

Battery pack (Xerotech image)

World:

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

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

Audi e-tron GT RS (Audi image)

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

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

Bayswater power station (Hunter Community Environment Centre)

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

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

NTR solar array (NTR image)

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

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

Wind turbines (Hans Braxmeier, pixabay)

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

US:

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

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

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

Have a totally okey-dokey day.

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February 23 Energy News

February 23, 2021

World:

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

Wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

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

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

ITM Power energy storage (ITM Power image)

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

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

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

India:

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

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

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

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

US:

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

Flood (SC National Guard, public domain)

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

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

Aptera (Image courtesy of Aptera)

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

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

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

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

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

Have a fundamentally stellar day.

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February 22 Energy News

February 22, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

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

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

Deep freeze (Hunter Gascon, Unsplash)

World:

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

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

Mercedes EQC Electric (Daimler/Mercedes-Benz image)

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

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

Premier Energies ad (Premier Energies image)

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

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

Light (Pixabay image)

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

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

Wind turbines (EDF image)

US:

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

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

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

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

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

Have a plainly glorious day.

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February 21 Energy News

February 21, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

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

Science and Technology:

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

Forest (Donald Giannatti, Unsplash)

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

World:

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

Petronas Tower (Wayne Chew, Unsplash)

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

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

Manila (Aeron Oracion, Unsplash)

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

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

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

US:

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

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

Texas cold (Thomas Park, Unsplash)

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

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

Have an enduringly cheerful day.

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February 20 Energy News

February 20, 2021

Opinion:

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

Computers (Photo by Massimo Botturi on Unsplash)

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

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

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

Science and Technology:

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

World:

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

Tesla Model Y web page in China (Screenshot)

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

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

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

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

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

Wind turbines (Unsplash image)

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

US:

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

Volta EV charging station (photo via Volta)

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

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

Plugged gas well (Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association)

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

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

Have a downright ducky day.

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February 19 Energy News

February 19, 2021

Opinion:

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

Wind turbines (Alessandro Stigliani, Unsplash)

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

Science and Technology:

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

Cruise ship (Courtesy of Chantiers de l’Atlantique)

World:

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

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

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

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

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

Fiat E-Ducato (Image courtesy of Stellantis)

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

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

Idemitsu EV (Image courtesy of Tajima EV)

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

US:

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

Tesla Model Y price (Screenshot)

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

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

Solar system (Chelsea, Unsplash)

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

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

Have an incomparably lovely day.

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February 18 Energy News

February 18, 2021

Science and Technology:

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

Temperature anomaly map (University of Maine)

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

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

Frozen lake in Texas (©Luke Verboski via Twitter)

World:

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

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

Maersk container ship (Andrey Sharpilo, Unsplash)

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

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

Volta Zero electric truck (Volta Trucks image)

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

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

Solar array (Limejump image)

US:

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

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

Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada (Tesla image)

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

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

Electric bus (Image courtesy of New Flyer)

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

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

Have an unapologetically amazing day.

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February 17 Energy News

February 17, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

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

Science and Technology:

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

Antarctic iceberg (Long Ma, Unsplash)

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

World:

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

Electric train (Image courtesy of Bombardier)

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

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

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

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

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

Solar array (American Public Power Association, Unsplash)

US:

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

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

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

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

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

Hydro dam (Pexels image)

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

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

Have an excitingly superior day.

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February 16 Energy News

February 16, 2021

World:

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

BYD autonomous bus (BYD image)

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

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

Great Wall R1 EV (Courtesy of Great Wall Motors)

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

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

Wind turbines (GE Renewable Energy image)

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

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

Winch Energy PV and battery system (Winch Energy image)

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

US:

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

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

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

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

Wind turbines (Pradeep Ghildiyal, Unsplash)

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

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

Solar array (Longroad Energy image)

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

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

Have an abundantly admirable day.

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February 15 Energy News

February 15, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

World:

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

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

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

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

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

Solar array (Lightsource BP image)

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

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

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

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

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

Offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

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

US:

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

Installing chargers

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

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

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

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

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

Have a pristinely perfect day.

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February 14 Energy News

February 14, 2021

Science and Technology:

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

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

World:

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

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

Electric bus (Image courtesy of Olectra Greentech)

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

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

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

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

US:

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

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

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

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

Wind turbine (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)

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

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

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

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

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

Have a consummately gleeful day.

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February 13 Energy News

February 13, 2021

Science and Technology:

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

Highland cow (James Toose, Unsplash)

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

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

Paper bottle (Coca-Cola image)

World:

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

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

Vestas wind turbine (Vestas Image)

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

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

BYD 12 meter bus

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

US:

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

Tesla at EVgo charging station (EVgo image)

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

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

Small turtle (Massimo Negrello, Unsplash)

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

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

Bluebird’s SPOT units (Screenshot via Pinit)

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

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

Have a triumphantly worthwhile day.

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February 12 Energy News

February 12, 2021

Opinion:

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

Wind turbines in Australia (Alex Eckermann, Unsplash)

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

Science and Technology:

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

ESS flow battery (ESS image)

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

World:

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

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

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

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

Nissan LEAF (Arbor Day Foundation)

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

China:

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

Happy Chinese New Year from Tesla

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

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

Tesla Giga Shanghai (Image courtesy of Tesla)

US:

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

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

New York subway station (Eddi Aguirre, Unsplash)

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

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

Have a thrillingly pleasant day.

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February 11 Energy News

February 11, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

World:

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

Calling a car (Courtesy of Nissan Global)

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

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

Site in Scotland (AMPYR Energy image)

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

Australia:

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

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

Perth, Western Australia (Fadzai Saungweme, Unsplash)

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

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

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

US:

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

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

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

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

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

Have a simply magnificent day.

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February 10 Energy News

February 10, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “In The Fast Lane With Formula E” • Since the first race in Beijing in 2014, Formula E has been invigorating fans across the globe. Born in part from a desire to attract sponsors who are increasingly eco-conscious back to motorsport, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is a natural showcase for electric vehicle technology. [CleanTechnica]

Racing EV (Formula E image)

¶ “Airspeeder Shows Off Mk3 Flying Car Design, Plans Manned Racing In 2022” • Australian flying-car company Alauda recently showed off the third version of their highly anticipated eVTOL, Airspeeder Mk3. That alone would be newsworthy, but they also announced that the company plans to have manned Airspeeder racing in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “£182 Million In London Congestion Charges And Fines In One Year” • Data obtained from Transport for London shows UK motorists were fined £130 million in fines for failing to pay the London Congestion Charge after they went into the city in non-electric cars over a 12 month period, and another £52 million in fees. One takeaway: Get an EV! [CleanTechnica]

Citroën e-C4 (Courtesy of © Citroën)

¶ “Fossil Fuel Air Pollution Causes Almost One In Five Deaths Globally Each Year” • Environmental Research published a study by researchers from Harvard University, in collaboration with three British Universities, that found exposure to particulate matter from fossil fuel emissions accounted for 18% of all worldwide deaths in 2018. [CNN]

¶ “Mercedes-Benz EQA Is A Slick, Compelling Addition To UK Auto Market” • We might compare the Mercedes-Benz EQA with Tesla EVs. The EQA’s base price is very similar to the Tesla Model 3’s in the UK, and that is very similar to expected Model Y’s base price. Tesla offers more advanced tech, but Mercedes offers a more luxurious auto build. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes-Benz EQA (Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)

¶ “China Plans To Raise Minimum Renewable Power Purchase To 40% By 2030” • China will require regional grid firms to buy at least 40% of power from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 to meet national climate targets, according to a new government document seen by Reuters. In 2020, 28.2% of China’s electricity was from non-fossils. [The Business Times]

¶ “Vattenfall Granted Horns Rev 3 Certification” • DNV GL has issued Vattenfall with a project certificate for its 412-MW Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm. The certificate proves a safe and cost-efficient operation of the largest offshore wind farm in Denmark. Horns Rev 3 is the third phase of offshore wind development at the Horns Rev site. [reNEWS]

Horns 3 offshore wind farm (Vattenfall image)

¶ “UNSW Sydney Leads Group To Power New South Wales Infrastructure With Renewables” • A research consortium led by UNSW Sydney will investigate the potential to grow a new industry that will use cheap excess renewable energy to make fuel, chemicals, and feedstocks to power a range of New South Wales infrastructure. [UNSW Newsroom]

¶ “The City Of Sustainable Skyscrapers” • Hong Kong’s 42,000 buildings – including about 8,000 high-rises, of which more than 1,500 are skyscrapers exceeding 100 m (328 ft) in height – consume up to 90% of the city’s electricity and contribute to 60% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Now Hong Kong is aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050. [BBC News]

Green building (New World Development Company)

¶ “Catholic Bishops Of Japan, Korea Criticize Fukushima Radioactivity Clean-Up Plans” • The Catholic bishops of Japan and Korea criticized the Japanese government’s plans to release into the sea millions of gallons of radioactive water from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi, where three nuclear reactors melted down in 2011. [Catholic News Agency]

¶ “Storage Player Highview Closes $70 Million Funding Round” • Highview Power has closed its growth capital round of funding with over $70 million, bringing the total amount of funding and grants the company has secured to date to over $145 million. Highview Power’s technology stores energy by liquefying air and using it to power turbines. [reNEWS]

Highview Power plant (Highview Power image)

US:

¶ “Proposed E-BIKE Act Legislation Would Offer 30% Tax Credit For E-Bike Purchases In US” • Finally! We have the legitimizing move that e-bikes deserve along with micromobility in general. US Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) sponsored the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment Act. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Brooklyn Getting USA’s 1st EV Fast Charging “Superhub” • An e-mobility company in New York, Revel, is putting 30 EV fast chargers into a “Superhub” in Brooklyn. It is a record-breaking facility, in fact. “The site will be the largest universal fast charging depot in North America, with 30 chargers open to the public on a 24/7 basis … [CleanTechnica]

Tritium RTM75 with Revel branding (Revel image)

¶ “UA Wins Funding To Support Renewable Energy Innovation” • The University of Arizona Center for Innovation received an award of up to $300,000 from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to support the US technology innovators competing in the Department of Energy’s American-Made Challenges program. [Tucson Local Media]

¶ “Experimental ‘Blowhole’ Renewable Energy Could Be On Its Way To The US” • The use of wind and water as sources of renewable energy is well-documented. But an innovative project, taking place off the coast of a remote Tasmanian island, aims to showcase a new approach in other parts of the world, including in US waters. [Digital Trends]

Have a thoroughly entertaining day.

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February 9 Energy News

February 9, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Monoculture Could Worsen Vulnerability To Climate Change” • Roughly two-fifths of the planet’s iceless terrestrial area has turned to farming and forestry, reducing biodiversity. The conversion of biodiverse landscapes to single-species farms alters the water cycle and makes the world more susceptible to ecological instability. [Food Tank]

Farming (Photo courtesy of Scott Goodwill, Unsplash)

¶ “Erratic Weather Slows Down The Economy” • A study in the journal Nature Climate Change shows that if temperatures vary strongly from day to day, the economy grows less. Comparing daily temperature changes with economic data, researchers found that seemingly small variations in temperatures may have strong effects on economic growth. [EurekAlert]

¶ “Sensitive Himalayan Glaciers And The Impact Of Their Rapid Shrinking Due To Climate Change” • Melting glaciers increase the risk of runoffs and floods, as we recently saw with the glacier disaster in Uttarakhand that claimed 26 lives and displaced many people. There 197 people still reported missing, and rescue operations are still underway. [The Weather Channel]

Himalayas (swapnil vithaldas, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Nigerian Startup BrightCloud Automotive Hopes To Start Making Electric SUVs And Pickups In The Near Future” • Legacy automakers fail to see what may become an EV leapfrog event similar Africa’s experience with cell phones and financial tech. African companies, such as BrightCloud, see opportunities for local EV manufacture. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Swedish Activists Oppose Geoengineering Experiment” • In June, Harvard researchers plan to launch a high altitude balloon from Lapland as part of an experiment to see whether particles in the Earth’s atmosphere can reflect sunlight and reduce climate change. Swedish environmental groups have written to voice their opposition. [CleanTechnica]

SCopEX balloon experiment (Keutsch Group image)

¶ “Global Plugin Vehicle Sales Up 43% In 2020, European Sales Up 137%” • Plugin electric vehicles had a sales increase of 43% in 2020 compared to 2019, worldwide, rising from a 2.5% market share in 2019 to 4.2%. But Europe delivered a 137% sales increase in 2020 compared to 2019. Several countries had increases over 200%, and India’s was 510%! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RWE Inks 250-GWh Renewables Offtake” • RWE has signed a power purchase agreement with semiconductor tooling supplier ASML for 250 GWh of green electricity annually. The electricity will be delivered from two new RWE onshore wind farms and one solar plant in the Netherlands, as well as from an offshore wind farm in Belgium. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Kaiserwetter image)

¶ “Energy Storage Systems Must Be Charged Using Renewables For Round-the-Clock Power Bid” • India’s Ministry of Power has amended the guidelines for the tariff-based competitive bidding process for round-the-clock power from renewables projects. The amendments say the storage systems must be charged by solar or wind power. [Mercom India]

¶ “Oil Majors Outbid Green Energy Firms To Build Offshore UK Windfarms” • Oil majors have agreed to pay a hefty premium to develop the next generation of major British offshore wind farms after BP Plc and Total SE won contracts in an auction ahead of many of the utilities that have dominated the space until now. The auction awarded rights to develop 8 GW. [WorldOil]

Ørsted offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “Global Offshore Wind Installations Hit 5.2 GW In 2020” • A record 5,206 MW of offshore wind capacity went into operation worldwide during 2020, compared to 5,194 MW installed in 2019, according to a new report from World Forum Offshore Wind. The new additions brought cumulative operational capacity of offshore windpower to 32.5 GW. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Chevron May Not Be An Oil-First Company In 2040, CEO Says” • Chevron has built a $170 billion fossil fuels empire that has made the 141-year-old company synonymous with the oil-and-gas industry. But the climate crisis is forcing Chevron and other oil companies large and small to rethink their once-reliable business models. [CNN]

Chevron oil tanker (Dreamyshade, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “2020 US Electric Vehicle Sales Report” • There is no official count of US EV sales, but we do have numbers or quite informed estimates for several major electric models. An estimate from EV Volumes that US plugin vehicle sales grew with a 4% increase over 2019 despite the fact that the overall light-duty auto market was down 15% in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electrify America Rolls Out 30 Solar-Powered EV Charging Stations In Rural California — And They’re Free To Use” • As Electrify America builds out a large ultrafast charging network, rural areas offer the challenge of insufficient electricity capacity to power them. A solution? Good ol’ solar power. And in some areas, you can charge for free. [CleanTechnica]

Solar powered Electrify America charging station

¶ “100% Of New US Power Capacity Came From Solar & Wind In November” • Matching the result in October 2020, November 2020 saw 100% of new US power capacity coming from wind and solar power, according to data published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC data exclude rooftop solar power, but 100% is 100% either way. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “AES Closes Financing For 400-MWh US Battery” • AES Corporation has closed a $154 million  debt financing for a 400-MWh standalone grid battery storage in Los Angeles County. The transaction was closed by sPower, an independent power producer.  The Luna Storage project is expected to come online later this year. [reNEWS]

Have a terrifically relaxing day.

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February 8 Energy News

February 8, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Extreme Weather Driven By Climate Change, Conflict, And The Covid-19 Pandemic Are Driving Worsening Hunger. What Can Change That?” • Our climate is so closely connected to our food systems that even if fossil fuels were eliminated today, emissions from farming mean temperatures would likely still rise by at least 1.5°C. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]

Farming (Gozha Net, Unsplash)

¶ “How Can Mercedes-Benz Compete With Tesla If It Pushes ICE Vehicles Over Its Own New EV?” • A Teslarati article shows that Mercedes-Benz does what many dealerships do when customers want EVs – pushing customers to think about cars with internal combustion (ICE) engines instead. It seems like Mercedes-Benz is not serious about selling its EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Got Climate Change? Kelp Can Help” • Kelp, which most of us refer to as seaweed, may be an important tool in the quest to limit the effects of a warming planet. By absorbing carbon dioxide from sea water, it can reduce local acidity, improving water conditions to the benefit of other local sea life, such as the blue mussels fishermen harvest. [CleanTechnica]

Giant Kelp (NOAA image)

World:

¶ “Oil Prices Climb Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels” • The price of oil has recovered to its pre-pandemic levels having hit an all-time low last year. It has now reached $60 a barrel. While the demand for oil is still lower than normal, there are hopes of a speedier than expected economic recovery as the vaccines for Covid-19 are rolled out. [BBC]

¶ “Mango Solar – Offering Electrification And Digitalization In Africa, Now In Installments” • The Mango Combo Bundle has a large portable battery with a lamp; a chargeable speaker with aux, radio, and Bluetooth; and a solar panel that can power it all. Many of Africa’s rural poor can afford it on through Mango’s cloud-based pay-as-you-go system. [CleanTechnica]

Mango Combo and lamp

¶ “Amazon Buys More Offshore Wind Power” • Amazon has signed an agreement with Shell Energy Europe for renewable power from the subsidy-free Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind farm being constructed in the Netherlands. Amazon will buy a total of 380 MW from the wind farm, 250 MW from Shell and 130 MW from Eneco. [Offshore Wind]

¶ “Vestas Secures 29-MW Italian Job” • Vestas has received a turbine order totaling 29 MW for the Mazara Messer Andrea wind farm in Sicily. The contract includes the supply and installation of eight V136-3.45MW machines delivered in 3.6-MW power optimized mode. Commissioning is expected in the first quarter of 2022. [reNEWS]

Vestas turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Revising Clean Energy Policy To Help Australia Unlock $40 Billion In Investments” • The Australian government should revise its renewable energy policy to unlock future investments of up to $40 billion in the power generation sector, according to a Wood Mackenzie study. It says that renewable capacity could double by 2030. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Crown Hails High Lease Bids As ‘Vote Of Confidence’” • The Crown Estate says the outcome of the Round 4 leasing process, which will see annual option fee payments from developers hit £879 million, is a “significant vote of confidence” in the UK offshore wind industry. Six sites totaling just under 8 GW were awarded in the round. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (Crown Estate image)

¶ “Donated Hitachi ABB Microgrid Simulator To Grow The NT’s Renewable-Energy Capabilities” • A Hitachi ABB microgrid simulator is now in place at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory, where it will help build knowledge and capability to guide the Territory on its road to 50% renewable electricity by 2030. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “$4 Billion US Oil Company Banks On Perovskite Solar Cell Of The Future” • Hunt Consolidated is part of a $4 billion oil and gas empire and one of the largest privately held firms in the US. Despite its oil industry connections, Hunt has been working on a years-long perovskite solar cell venture. Now it looks like all that hard work may be about to pay off. [CleanTechnica]

Perovskite Solar Cell (NREL image)

¶ “Plymouth State University Offering Climate Studies Degree” • Plymouth State University started a bachelor’s degree program in climate studies, the first institution in New Hampshire to do so. Students, who are increasingly taking an active role in doing something about climate change and its effects, have few college programs offered to them. [WCAX]

¶ “GE Awarded DOE Grant To Research 3D Printing Of Wind Turbine Blades” • Three General Electric businesses working in the field of renewable energy, GE Research, GE Renewable Energy, and LM Wind Power, were recently selected by the US DOE to research the design and manufacture of 3D printed wind turbine blades. [Power Engineering International]

Wind turbine blades (LM Wind Power image)

¶ “Competitive Suppliers’ Attempt To Reopen Virginia’s Renewable Energy Market Faces Tough Utility Opposition” • A bill to let electricity customers in Virginia purchase renewable energy from companies other than their local utilityy cleared the House of Delegates. Now it faces a Senate committee that struck it down in 2020. [Virginia Mercury]

¶ “Biden: US Won’t Lift Sanctions Until Iran Halts Uranium Enrichment” • President Biden said the US will not lift sanctions against Iran unless it stops enriching uranium, continuing a standoff with Iran’s supreme leader, who has demanded that sanctions be lifted before the country returns to its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal. [msnNOW]

Have a fully functioning day.

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February 7 Energy News

February 7, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “What’s Next For State Climate Action In The US? Seven Areas To Watch” • Even with a profound shift in US federal climate policy, state-level climate action will remain essential. Here are seven high-impact policies to watch in 2021, as well as federal programs and policies that can encourage and reinforce state-level climate action plans. [CleanTechnica]

New York City (Sung Shin, Unsplash)

¶ “Europe’s Chance To Sprint Ahead On Electric Vehicles” • If you’ve been following the electric vehicle market much at all, you know that European EV sales jumped through the roof in 2020. EU-based Transport & Environment wants Europe to be the leader in this market, and it has published a report showing how it sees that happening. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Warning to Energy Investors: Coal Is Dead and Oil Is Next” • Over the past two decades, coal has been shoved aside for natural gas and renewable energy plants that are more cost-effective and less polluting. Transportation markets are likely to be the next in line to be transformed, with electric vehicles offered by nearly every manufacturer in the industry. [Motley Fool]

What we leave behind (Chris LeBoutillier, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Capacity Of Iran’s Renewable Power Plants Reaches 859.17 MW” • According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, the capacity of Iran’s renewable power plants stood at 859.17 MW in the tenth Iranian calendar month of Dey. Iranian renewable power plants produced 5.738 billion kWh of electricity in the month, according to the report. [MENAFN.com]

¶ “Equinor: Floating Wind Turbines Buoy Hopes Of Expanding Renewable Energy” • Hywind Scotland, the first floating wind farm, was installed in 2017. It is operated by Norwegian oil giant Equinor ASA, which sees a future for floating wind turbines where the ocean is too deep for ordinary masts, such as Japan and the US West Coast. [marketscreener.com]

First full-scale floating turbine (Lars Christopher, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “How Japan’s Electricity Grid Came Close To Blackouts” • Japan’s worst electricity crunch since the Fukushima crisis has exposed vulnerabilities in the country’s recently liberalized power market. Power prices in Japan hit record highs last month as a cold snap across northeast Asia prompted a scramble for supplies of liquefied natural gas. [Japan Today]

¶ “Morrison Government Still Stalling On Emissions Targets” • In the lead-up to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s address to the National Press Club, there were rumors flying that he was set to announce a target of net zero emissions by 2050. Unsurprisingly, he did not announce this. What he did was to say that if this occurred, it be nice. [Independent Australia]

Scott Morrison (Screenshot via YouTube)

US:

¶ “GM’s Electric Vehicle Strategy Takes Shape, And It’s All About That Fleet” • Getting one person to buy your new EV is good, but it’s even better when that one person is a fleet manager who can put 12,600 into one order. That seems to be the business model General Motors had in mind for its new BrightDrop electric delivery van venture. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NASA Appoints Climate Advisor To Prioritize Earth Science In Biden Administration” • The climate crisis is one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities, so NASA created a climate adviser position. Gavin Schmidt, as senior climate advisor, will report directly to NASA’s administrator and work with a range of departments in NASA that touch on climate. [Space.com]

Gavin Schmidt (Image: © NASA)

¶ “US Energy Agency Predicts More Renewables, But Comes Under Fire For Fossil Forecast” • The EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook found that the US will double its share of renewable energy in its energy mix by 2050. But controversially, it predicts flat trends for both coal and gas despite Biden administration’s work to decarbonize. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Sandia Labs Research Could Bring Renewable Energy To Rural Communities” • Sandia National Laboratories has new technology to work out how to bring renewable energy to rural communities. Their custom-built wind turbine emulator mimics actual wind turbines so they can understand better how to bring renewable energy to rural areas. [KRQE News 13]

Sandia National Laboratories (Science in HD, Unsplash)

¶ “City Council Bows To Entergy With Renewable And Clean Portfolio Standard” • The New Orleans City Council voted last march to pass a “Renewable and Clean Portfolio Standard.” But the plan it settled on accepts nuclear power and carbon capture technology that has never commercially succeeded. Meanwhile, the costs just go up. [Big Easy Magazine]

¶ “This Energy Company Is Leading The Charge To Capture A Multitrillion-Dollar Opportunity” • NextEra Energy has invested billions of dollars in building a world-leading renewable energy-generating portfolio, based on which it has paid big dividends for its investors. However, the company believes that its best days are still ahead. [Motley Fool]

Have an unremittingly jolly day.

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February 6 Energy News

February 6, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Washington Clean Buildings Bill Raises The Bar For Every State” • A bill under consideration in the state of Washington proposes a wide range of innovative policies that would greatly reduce climate pollution by addressing building electrification through a comprehensive set of policy levers. It gives guidance for what other states can do. [CleanTechnica]

Seattle, Washington (Roberto Nickson, Unsplash)

¶ “Clearing The Air With New Truck Regulations” • Newly available rules will bring big economic, environmental, and health benefits to states that choose to adopt them. To inform states’ decision-making while uncertainty and misinformation exists, however, we should clear the air and dispel the myths about the two rules. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla Semi And Tesla Giga Berlin Production Starting In Mid-2021 – Rumor And Website Update” • On the last Tesla quarterly conference call, Elon Musk indicated they could be producing the Tesla Semi, which was unveiled a few years ago, if they just had enough batteries for it. The only real holdup at this point is the lack of batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Semi showing (Tesla image)

¶ “Panasonic Boosts Its Profit Outlook Due To Tesla” • Panasonic expects its battery business supplying Tesla to be profitable this fiscal year, Reuters reports. The company has raised its operating profit forecast for the year by over half. The company will use new battery technology to help Tesla cut its battery costs and ramp up battery production. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Microgrid Partnership Sealed To Grow Sector” • MPC Energy Solutions has closed an asset development agreement and strategic partnership with Enernet Global, which develops microgrid projects in Latin America, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Enernet will develop the asset pipeline and perform all of the construction management. [reNEWS]

Working on the grid (National Grid image)

¶ “Queen’s Property Manager Banks Huge Windfarm Bonanza” • The Queen and the Treasury are in line for a multibillion-pound bonanza, after a major auction of seabed plots for windfarms off the coasts of England and Wales attracted runaway bids. Just two of the windfarm sites in the Irish Sea may earn as much as £200 million for each. [The Guardian]

¶ “South Korea Unveils $43-Billion Plan For World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm” • South Korea unveiled a 48.5-trillion-won ($43.2-billion) plan to build the world’s largest wind power plant by 2030 as part of the country’s efforts to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Its 8.2 GW capacity is about the equal of 6 nuclear reactors, officials said. [Rappler]

Offshore wind farm (Nicholas Doherty, Unsplash)

¶ “Experts Pile Pressure On Boris Johnson Over ‘Shocking’ New Coal Mine” • Pressure is growing on the government of the UK over its support for a new coal mine in Cumbria, as the country prepares to host the most important UN climate summit since 2015. Woodhouse colliery would be the first new deep coal mine in the UK for three decades. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “US Offshore Wind Potential Relies On Intelligent Grid Integration” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is planning for the technologies and strategies needed to integrate the offshore wind installations coming into the grid. It’s success with integration is steering efforts to deliver power efficiently and affordably from offshore plants. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind connection (Illustration by Josh Bauer, NREL)

¶ “An Invisible, Odorless Gas Is Pitting Texas Against The Biden Administration” • Climatologists at NASA and the NOAA tell us that deadly changes from global warming will only get worse until people stop using fuels that burn and leak. But the governor of Texas is making it clear that he will protect his state’s Oil & Gas industry. [CNN]

¶ “Ford Pumps $29 Billion Into Electric Vehicle Plot After Splashy Mustang Mach-E Success” • Last year, Ford introduced an electric version of its iconic Mustang with great fanfare, and yesterday the company followed up with a new $29 billion plan to electrify and digitize its fleet. And if it wasn’t for that pesky semiconductor shortage … [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Bram Van Oost, Unsplash)

¶ “New Report: Electric Vehicles Can Save Nevada $20 Billion” • Nevadans can save over $14 billion through 2050 by moving from gas-powered cars to EVs, according to a report. EVs can also cut air pollution to provide $3 billion in health benefits, and boost efficiency of electricity system for $3 billion. The report shows $20 billion in benefits. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Energy Powering More US Local Government Buildings” • President Joe Biden issued executive orders aimed at reducing America’s carbon footprint, but efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions at the local level have gained strength even as the former Trump administration sought to reinvigorate the fossil fuel industry. [Voice of America]

Solar array (Government of Montgomery County, Maryland)

¶ “Total To Develop Four Solar Projects Near Houston, Texas, Expanding Renewable Footprint” • The French oil major Total said it acquired the yet-to-be-completed solar projects near Houston. All four projects are expected to come online by 2024. They will have the capacity to generate as much as 2.2 GW of electricity. [Houston Chronicle]

¶ “US Wind Reports Strongest Year” • The US wind industry had its strongest year ever in 2020 as the amount of new wind power capacity added increased by 85% over 2019, according to the American Clean Power Association. The ACPA published a report that found the industry added 16,913 MW of wind power capacity to the grid in 2020. [reNEWS]

Have a practically ideal day.

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February 5 Energy News

February 5, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Automakers Are Going Green To Save Money, Not Just The Planet” • Virtually all major automakers worldwide are shifting to all-electric futures – and that’s as much about the bottom line as it is about the environment. Volkswagen plans to launch roughly 70 pure electric models by 2030 and General Motors hopes to sell only zero-emission cars by 2035. [CNN]

Chevy Bolt (Chevrolet image)

¶ “Top 10 Things We Learned About Climate Change In 2020” • A report prepared by a group of 57 leading researchers from 21 countries suggests there was both good news and not so good news about our overheating planet during the year 2020. The International Institute for Sustainable Development summarized the report’s findings. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Posidonia, The Mediterranean’s ‘Super Plant'” • The sea grass Posidonia oceanica is incredibly effective at filtering the water and producing oxygen. In fact, 1 square meter of Posidonia produces as much oxygen as 1 hectare (10,000 square meters) of Amazon rainforest. Despite attempts to protect it, Posidonia is in grave threat of disappearing in a few decades. [BBC]

Posidonia oceanica (Nachosan, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Shift to plant-based diets is key to saving world’s wildlife” • The global food system is the primary driver of biodiversity loss and species extinction, and a shift to plant based diets is needed to curb the damage being done to nature, according to a report from Chatham House. Biodiversity is crucial to both human well-being and a healthy planet, [CNN]

¶ “Experimental ‘Blowhole’ Wave Energy Generator Goes Online Down Under” • A 200-kW demonstration of Wave Swell Energy’s “blowhole” power generator has been set up off Tasmania. The device channels waves in and out of a concrete chamber, pushing air in and out of an artificial blowhole in the top of the chamber to drive a wind turbine. [New Atlas]

Wave Swell Energy demonstration unit (Wave Swell Energy)

World:

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

¶ “Tesla Moves Into Israel With Fairly Low Prices” • Tesla has entered the Israeli market with lower than expected prices, Haaretz reports. Tesla’s Hebrew site sets a delivery date for its vehicles in March and reflects the company’s plans to target the mainstream market. Prices start at 180,000 shekels ($54,600) for the Tesla Model 3, after taxes. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 Israeli pricing

¶ “World’s biggest Battery With 1,200-MW Capacity Set To Be Built In NSW Hunter Valley” • CEP Energy said it plans to build the world’s biggest battery in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, the latest in a flurry of major energy storage projects. The battery is part of a larger plan including a total of 2,000 MW of storage and 1,500 MW of solar power. [The Guardian]

¶ “Northland Plans C$20 Billion Renewables Drive” • In Canada, Northland Power is targeting C$15 to C$20 billion (€9.8 to €13 billion, $11.7 to $15.6 billion) of gross capital investment in new renewable projects over the next five years. It said they would be “anchored by identified offshore wind projects that are currently in active development.” [reNEWS]

Building a wind turbine (Northland Power image)

¶ “Scotch Whisky Distilleries To Use Renewable Electricity Created By Underwater Turbines” • Whisky distilleries on an archipelago west of mainland Scotland could soon be powered with electricity from subsea tidal turbines. Tidal energy firm Nova Innovation said it would install 3 MW of turbines between two islands of the Inner Hebrides. [CNBC]

¶ “Denmark Gives Nod To Offshore Energy Hub” • Denmark has reached a landmark agreement on the construction of an energy hub in the North Sea. It will further integrate European grids with more offshore wind that are planned for nearby waters. The energy hub will be an artificially constructed island 80 km off the coast of Jutland. [reNEWS]

Proposed green energy hub (Vindo Consortium image)

¶ “Removal Of Four Deformed Fuel Units Begins At Fukushima Daiichi” • The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crippled after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami has started removing four deformed nuclear fuel assemblies from the storage pool of the No 3 reactor building. It is now ten years since the meltdown at the plant. [NHK World]

US:

¶ “Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, And Blumenauer Unveil Bill Pushing Biden To Declare National Climate Emergency: ‘We Are Out Of Time'” • Three progressive lawmakers introduced legislation that would require President Joe Biden to declare a national climate emergency, arguing that the US is “out of time and excuses” to deal with the climate crisis. [CNN]

Bernie Sanders at Council Bluffs, Iowa (Matt A J, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Rad Power Bikes Receives $150 Million Investment To Scale Up Its E-Bike Business” • Leading US e-bike brand Rad Power Bikes announced that it has received a $150 million investment from “a prestigious group of investors.” The investment could help the company expand its market, strengthen its sales, and speed up its deliveries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US EIA Explores Covid-19’s Impact On US Energy Mix 2020–2050” • The US will likely take years to return to 2019 levels of energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions following the impact of Covid-19 on the US economy and global energy sector, according to projections by the US DOE’s Energy Information Administration. [CleanTechnica]

Have a surprisingly peachy day.

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February 4 Energy News

February 4, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “GM Drops Funny, Fearless Electric Vehicle Ad On Superbowl Sunday” • It may seem like half the country got sucked into some crazy fear-based cult, but GM envisions another America. It’s funny, has fun friends, loves a challenge, loves the country to be the greatest. CleanTechnica got a sneak peak at GM’s 60-second EV ad for the Superbowl. [CleanTechnica]

Will Ferrell in GM ad (Photo courtesy of GM)

¶ “Green Investment By Individuals Is Expanding” • With the plummeting cost of renewable energy and an increasingly widespread awareness of the climate crisis, a new force has emerged in the stock market. Small investors are redirecting low paying savings account funds into green finance, often with some very positive results. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bloomberg Has Some Really Cool US Energy Infographics” • A diagram from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory shows where our energy comes from and what it is used for. A diagram by Bloomberg clarifies that. One thing it shows is that if we use electricity to power our cars, we will use far less energy. EVs are more efficient than other cars. [CleanTechnica]

Diagram from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Science and Technology:

¶ “Study Shows Walking, Cycling, And e-Biking Make Significant Impact On Carbon Emissions” • Cycling, e-biking, or walking can help reduce emissions, even if such active transport is done just one day a week, according to a study led by researchers from the University of Oxford’s Transport Studies Unit. Active transport could save 25% of emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “IdentiFlight AI System Hugely Reduces Bird Fatalities At Wind Farms” • Bird fatalities associated with wind farms has long been a focus area of “concern trolls” who don’t want to see the industry grow. IdentiFlight developed a system that was shown in a study to reduce bird (eagle) fatalities by 82%. The study appeared in the Journal of Applied Ecology. [CleanTechnica]

IdentiFlight sensing system (IdentiFlight image)

World:

¶ “Global Electric Vehicle Top 20 – EV Sales Report” • After a rough start of the year, the second half of 2020 became a record-fest. Three of the last four months saw records broken, and in December there were over half a million registrations. In fact, in each of the last three months, sales of plug-in cars were at least doubled from the year before. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Wins Vietnamese Nearshore Project Deal” • Siemens Gamesa has secured its largest nearshore project to date in Vietnam, the 100-MW Tra Vinh Dong Hai 1 wind farm in Tra Vinh province. The project will feature 25 SG 5.0-145 turbines with a flexible power rating. Siemens Gamesa has been working to expand in Vietnam. [reNEWS]

Near shore wind farm (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Germany Hits 21.7% Plugin Share In January – Up Over 3× Year-on-Year” • Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, hit a 21.7% plugin electric vehicle share in January, up over 3× from January 2021. Overall auto sales volumes were down 31% in January 2021, with petrol combustion vehicles dropping more than 50% in volume year-on-year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ladakh To Host 10 GW Of Hybrid Renewable Power Projects” • The Indian government is working towards making the union territory of Ladakh carbon-neutral. Ladakh’s lieutenant governor said last year, “In the various assessments done, Ladakh has a potential of 30 GW of solar, 5 GW of wind, 2 GW of hydro, and 300 MW of geothermal.” [pv magazine India]

Sunny Ladakh (The Union Territory of Ladakh, govt of India)

¶ “Amazon Starts Up First Irish Wind Farm” • Amazon’s first operational wind farm in the Republic of Ireland is delivering electricity to the country’s electricity grid. The 23-MW wind farm in County Cork, southern Ireland, is the first in the country to be built without public subsidies. Amazon has two more projects coming in Ireland. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Empire State Building Powers Up With 100% Wind After Deal With US Developer” • New York’s Empire State Building is now 100% powered by wind energy, as a contract was signed between the iconic property’s manager, Empire State Realty Trust, and US developer Green Mountain Energy. The building also just had an extensive efficiency retrofit. [Recharge]

Empire State Building (Aleksandr Rogozin, Unsplash)

¶ “BOEM Resumes Vineyard Wind Review” • The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said that it intends to resume an environmental review of Vineyard Wind’s proposed 800-MW offshore wind project, which is twelve nautical miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard at its nearest point. BOEM will develop a final environmental impact statement. [reNews]

¶ “Renewables Expected To Replace Coal By 2033, Says Morgan Stanley” • Global wealth management company Morgan Stanley projects coal-fired power generation is likely to disappear from the US power grid by 2033. It said renewable energy such as solar and wind power will provide about 39% of US electricity by 2030, and as much as 55% in 2035. [The Hill]

Mining machine (Albert Hyseni, Unsplash)

¶ “CALPIRG Seeks to Accelerate California’s Renewable Energy Goals” • The California Public Interest Research Group is seeking to accelerate California’s Senate Bill 100 and commit the state to a goal of using 100% renewable energy sources by 2030 instead of the current goal of 2045. The campaign’s goal is to modify the existing law. [New University]

¶ “TVA Asks For Public Comments About Proposed Nuclear Reactor Site” • The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking for public comment about a proposal to build one or more small or advanced nuclear reactors in west Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The reactors would be on the Clinch River Nuclear Site, in Roane County. [Oak Ridge Today]

Have a perfectly flowing day.

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February 3 Energy News

February 3, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Mission Possible Partnership: Joining Forces to Decarbonize Heavy Industry” • How should investors with net-zero ambitions evaluate potential investments? What standards can be used to judge decarbonization plans? RMI’s Center for Climate-Aligned Finance was set up to help investors and clients together to solve the decarbonization puzzle. [CleanTechnica]

Heavy industry (Ant Rozetsky, Unsplash)

¶ “China’s EV Infrastructure Massively Outclasses EV Charging Coverage In USA” • For the US, the world’s wealthiest country, it’s embarrassing that Chian would have such good EV charging coverage while there are many parts of the US that most EVs couldn’t get to. We really should be a lot further along in our infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Upcoming Aptera (And Other Future 1,000-Mile EVs) Can Do London-Moscow-Beijing” • Readers helped the author find data on China’s DC Fast Charging infrastructure, and with that, she was ready to find out if a vehicle like the Aptera could drive across all of Eurasia, from London to Moscow, and then across Asia to Beijing. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot from A Better Routeplanner

¶ “Moon’s Nuclear Phaseout Policy Eroded By Suspected Reactor Project: Korea Herald” • In South Korea, President Moon Jae-in’s administration has come under suspicion of having pushed for a plan to build a nuclear power plant for North Korea in 2018, when Mr Moon held a string of summits with the North’s leader Kim Jong-un. [The Straits Times]

World:

¶ “Tesla May Receive €1 Billion From Germany For Giga Berlin’s Battery Cell Production” • Tesla is slated to be on the receiving end of €1 billion in subsidies for the Giga Berlin plant. According to Business Insider, “several government sources” said that Tesla will be granted the €1 billion in public subsidies for continuing to develop battery cells. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Giga Berlin (Tesla image)

¶ “Volkswagen Predicts 100,000 ID.4 Deliveries This Year” • The ID.4 is now in production at the Zwickau factory in Germany and the Anting and Foshan factories in China. Volkswagen says it expects to deliver 100,000 of them this year. Europe will account for two thirds of those deliveries, with China and the US getting the remaining one third. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norway’s Best Ever January At 81% Plugin Electric Vehicle Share” • Norway, the world’s leading nation in the electric vehicle transition, saw 80.7% plugin share in January, significant growth from the 64.4% of a year ago. The overall auto market was up 7.7% in volume year-on-year. The Audi e-tron and Peugeot e-2008 were best sellers. [CleanTechnica]

Peugeot e-2008 (Image courtesy of Peugeot)

¶ “Enel Wins In Italy’s Latest Renewable Energy Auction” • Enel Green Power won contracts to build new renewable energy projects and to repower existing plants in Italy’s latest renewable energy auction. The company won contracts to build 34.5 MW of new renewable capacity to repower 27.2 MW of hydroelectric plants. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Sustainable Marine Unveils Floating Tidal Energy Platform” • Sustainable Marine is set to deliver the world’s first floating tidal energy array with its next-generation platform in Nova Scotia. Construction of the 420-kW PLAT-I 6.40 floating tidal energy platform has recently been completed and it was launched in the Bay of Fundy. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

PLAT-I 6.40 (Sustainable Marine image)

¶ “Al Kharsaah PV Power Plant Will Help Diversify Qatar’s Energy Mix And Reduce Emissions” • Hitachi ABB Power Grids won a contract for the 800-MW Al Kharsaah PV power plant, which will be integrated with Qatar’s national grid. The new Al Kharsaah plant is Qatar’s first large-scale solar power generating project. [MEConstructionNews.com]

US:

¶ “New Flyer Xcelsior AV Is America’s First Autonomous Bus” • American bus manufacturer New Flyer recently took the wraps off an all-new battery-electric model it’s calling the Xcelsior AV. The thing that makes this bus special, however, isn’t what’s under the Xcelsior AV’s hood. Rather, it’s what’s behind the steering wheel: nothing. [CleanTechnica]

New Flyer Xcelsior AV

¶ “US Wind Generation Sets Daily And Hourly Records At End Of 2020” • In the final months of 2020, electricity generation from wind turbines in the US set daily and hourly records. Data collected in the EIA’s Hourly Electric Grid Monitor show an hourly record set on December 22 and a daily record set on the following day. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Set To Add More Than 170 GW Of Renewable Energy Capacity By 2024” • Newly released data by S&P Global Market Intelligence found that the US is on track to add 172.5 GW of renewable energy capacity through 2024. That total is comprised of 96.8 GW from solar power projects and 75.7 GW from wind power projects. [ThomasNet News]

Wind turbine (Alyssa Bossom, Unsplash)

¶ “Piper Sandler: Tesla Is Worth Over $1 Trillion” • An analyst at Piper Sandler, Alexander Potter, has raised his price target of Buy-rated Tesla stock by over 130% to $1,200, a report in Barron’s says. That is up from a $515 target set in September when Tesla’s shares were trading around $440. At $1,200, Tesla would be worth $1.1 trillion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hanover Votes To Join Municipal Energy Coalition To Cut Electricity Costs; Lebanon May Follow Suit” • Officials in Lebanon and Hanover, New Hampshire, are leading efforts to form a coalition of towns and cities that would offer lower-cost and environmentally friendly power to residents across the Granite State. [Valley News]

Have a categorically awesome day.

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February 2 Energy News

February 2, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “How To Fix Flaring For A Quick Emissions Win” • With the new year and the new presidential administration, climate change is again on the agenda in the US, the world’s largest producer of natural gas. The oil and gas industry has a quick win within reach to cut emissions – by putting out the fire of natural gas flaring. [CleanTechnica]

Natural gas flare (Tim Evanson, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Steps To Aid US Fossil Fuel Workers In The Clean Energy Transition” • Economic fallout from Covid-19 took a serious toll on US fossil fuel workers and communities. But well before that arrived, the fossil fuel industry was under pressure as the country moves toward cleaner forms of energy. Workers can be helped by “just transition” strategies. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Low A Solar Cell Can Go, Perovskite Edition” • The hits just keep on coming for fossil energy stakeholders, and the worst is yet to come as new low-cost perovskite solar cell technology bubbles up through the R&D pipeline. Helping things along is the US DOE, which has spent years plotting the nation’s course back to solar leadership. [CleanTechnica]

Perovskite solar cell (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology)

¶ “Chart: Why Battery Electric Vehicles Beat Hydrogen Electric Vehicles Without Breaking A Sweat” • Here is a chart that gives one of the clearest explanations of why hydrogen cars fueled by “green hydrogen” makes no sense whatsoever. That chart, which comes from Transport & Environment, makes it easy to see the difference of efficiency. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Begins Battery Recycling Pilot Project In Lower Saxony” • At Volkswagen, the quest for in house battery recycling technology began more than a dozen years ago with a doctoral project. Components of lithium ion batteries can be recovered and reused to make new batteries, rather than being incinerated or sent to landfills. [CleanTechnica]

Battery component (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Sweeping Electricity Market Overhaul Deals A Blow To Renewable Energy” • The Mexican Congress has a bill that proposes a sweeping overhaul of its electricity market to favor the state-owned utility. It is a move that would deal a blow to the use of renewable energy in the country and raise trade tensions with the US and Canada. [Mexico News Daily]

¶ “Naturgy Launches Floating Wind-Hydrogen Study” • Naturgy is entering a partnership with Enagas on a feasibility study for the production of green hydrogen from up to 250 MW of floating wind power, located off the coast of Asturias in north-west Spain, and a 100-MW onshore wind farm in Asturias, an autonomous community. [reNEWS]

Platforms for floating turbines (Navantia-Windar image)

Australia:

¶ “Australia Gas Plants Face Price, Renewable Headwinds” • The decline in gas-fired power generation to a 15-year low in eastern Australia’s national electricity market in October-December may reflect a transition to renewables. It was not what the Australian government had in mind when it unveiled its gas-led recovery plans last year. [Argus Media]

¶ “Aussie Retailers Leading The Charge On Renewable Energy” • The Australian retail sector is well ahead of other industries when it comes to renewable energy commitments, new Greenpeace research reveals. The report found that retailers had 1146 MW of clean energy commitments, almost double the amount of any other sector. [Pro Bono Australia]

Wind turbines

¶ “Coal-Rich Hunter Valley Ponders Jobs Future As Asian Giants Commit To Net-Zero Carbon Emissions” • As Australia’s biggest coal export markets – Japan, South Korea and China – commit to net-zero carbon emissions and shift towards clean energy, the mines of the Hunter Valley of New South Wales appear to be heading for a slow decline. [ABC News]

US:

¶ “Battery-Powered Construction Equipment From Komatsu And Liebherr” • Electric bus manufacturer Proterra is joining forces with Komatsu to develop a line of medium size electric excavators. The combination makes use of Komatsu’s experience as a manufacturer of heavy equipment with Proterra’s expertise at building batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Excavator (Proterra image)

¶ “El Paso Electric Files EV Plan With New Mexico Regulators” • El Paso Electric provides electricity to a lot more than just El Paso, Texas. It provides electricity to the smaller towns in both Texas and New Mexico. The company filed a Transportation Electrification Plan with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As Boston Gets On Board, Community Power Compacts Gain Steam” • With the launch of Boston’s new Community Choice Electricity program this month, nearly half of all Massachusetts municipalities are now buying electricity on behalf of their residents. The state’s 168 municipal aggregation programs provide cheaper, greener power. [WWLP]

Solar array in Massachusetts (Nick Allen, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Peterborough Energy Action Schedules Outreach Dialogues For Renewable Energy Commitment” • Community dialogues are being scheduled for Peterborough, NH, residents interested in discussing the 2021 warrant article proposing a commitment by the town to 100% renewable energy by 2030 and other energy by 2050. [Monadnock Ledger Transcript]

¶ “Exelon Threatens To Mothball Four Nuclear Power Plants Unless Paid A Premium For Their Zero-Carbon Electricity” • Exelon has warned repeatedly that the two plants, Byron and Dresden, faced the possibility of early closure unless they get financial support. The company is also demanding subsidies to keep LaSalle and Braidwood open. [Forbes]

Have a significantly gorgeous day.

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February 1 Energy News

February 1, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Groundbreaking Biofuel Rocket Could Be ‘Uber For Space'” • Stardust was hauled to its launch site in Maine by a pick-up truck. When it lifted off, it was the first commercial launch of a rocket powered by bio-derived fuel. Sascha Deri, inventor of the biofuel and chief executive of bluShift Aerospace, says it can be sourced from farms around the world. [BBC]

Stardust (Knack Factory, Courtesy Aerospace)

¶ “Porsche 3D-Prints EV Parts That Are 10% Lighter And Twice As Strong” • Porsche is doing 3D printing with special printing units that can use metals as raw materials to create EV drivetrain parts. The products are lighter, stronger, and easier to work with. And emissions are reduced at every step from making the vehicle to driving it around. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Using Offshore Wind To Farm Seaweed” • Shareholders in the Norther wind farm in Belgium have plans to use offshore wind turbines for ocean agriculture, known as aquaculture. They plan to automate the growth and harvest of seaweed and develop a system that other wind farms can use. Their first project would cover 2 hectares (4.9 acres). [Power Technology]

Seaweed (Ben Wicks, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “Ideol Extends Floatgen Testing” • The French floating wind company Ideol is to extend operation of its 2-MW Floatgen demonstration off France by three years. The company said it has an agreement with Ecole Centrale de Nantes, which operates SEM-REV test site where the unit is located, to continue running the turbine so it can pursue optimization. [reNEWS]

World:

¶ “Singapore Is Building A 42,000-Home Eco ‘Smart’ City” • Tengah will be the 24th new settlement built by the government of Singapore since World War II. But it’s the first with centralized cooling, automated trash collection, and a car-free town center. A 328-foot-wide corridor is safe passage area for wildlife, and some call the settlement a “forest town.” [CNN]

Tengah (Courtesy of the Housing & Development Board)

¶ “Google Uses AI To Plot Fastest, Most Efficient EV Road Trips” • For Tesla owners, the car can help plan the trip. Now owners of other EVs can get a similar service. Google says it has devised a new Maps feature that uses “graph theory” to sort through all the permutations and give drivers accurate information about how to drive and charge along the way. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biogas Plant To Power Vestas’ Isle Of Wight Facility” • Black Dog Biogas, the owner and operator of an anaerobic digestion plant on the Isle of Wight, set up a line to supply renewable electricity to a Vestas wind blade manufacturing plant. The project will supply low-carbon electricity to a Vestas plant that employs over 600 people. [reNEWS]

Biogas plant (Black Dog Biogas image)

¶ “Mexico Says Renewable Energy Capacity Rose 13.4% Through October” • Mexico’s renewable power capacity increased by 13.4% from 2019 through to the end of October, as new solar and wind plants were installed and began testing, the energy ministry said. Renewable capacity rose from 23,582 MW to 26,743 MW, largely through additions of solar PVs. [Nasdaq]

¶ “MOL Creates New Offshore Wind Arm” • Tokyo-based shipping firm Mitsui OSK Lines is to create an offshore wind division. MOL’s Wind Power Energy Business Division will specialize in offshore wind and related operations. It will also be tasked with expanding and accelerating MOL’s current activities in this area. [reNEWS]

Ørsted ship (Ørsted image)

¶ “MHI, Vestas Japan JV Opens For Business” • A joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Vestas to boost the marketing of onshore and offshore wind turbines in Japan is now operational. MHI Vestas Japan was established to strengthen the partners’ collaboration in the field of renewable energies, mainly wind turbines. [reNEWS]

¶ “European PV Players Launch 4-GW Solar Developer” • AGP Group, Hartree Partners, and NaGa Solar have formed a joint venture to develop at least 4 GW of solar projects in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. The complementary skills of the three businesses give the JV an ability to speed up the build-out of solar capacity. [reNEWS]

Installing solar panels (Unsplash image)

¶ “Shell Targets Power Trading And Hydrogen In Climate Drive” • European oil companies are seeking new business models to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Shell is betting on its power trading expertise and the rapidly growing hydrogen and biofuels markets as it shifts away from oil, while its rivals chase renewable energy assets, company sources said. [CNA]

US:

¶ “GM Pushes Ahead With Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology For Long Haul Trucks” • According to CNBC, a push by GM and Navistar for trucks powered by hydrogen will include a tie-in with OneH2, which will be responsible for hydrogen production, storage, delivery, and systems to supply fuel cell powered trucks with hydrogen safely. [CleanTechnica]

GM Hydrotec fuel cell

¶ “John Kerry Says The Current Goals Under The Paris Climate Agreement Are Inadequate To Reduce Earth’s Temperature” • John Kerry, special presidential envoy for climate, said the current Paris climate agreement goals are not enough to limit global warming. But, he said, there was still time to do more when it comes to climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Largest Solar Project In US Underway In Texas” • Construction began recently on the Samson Solar Energy Center, the largest planned solar energy farm in the US. When completed, the solar farm will have 1,013 MW of generating capacity. The project is being developed by Invenergy, and it is expected to be compled in 2023. [Earth911.com]

Have a happily constituted day.

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January 31 Energy News

January 31, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Biden’s Climate Agenda: Is This The Beginning Of The End For Fossil Fuels?” • The author spoke to the man Joe Biden has tasked with drawing up his climate change battle plans – John Kerry. “It is one of his top priorities, without any question whatsoever,” Mr Kerry assured him. “He’ll make more progress on the issue than any previous president.” [BBC]

Pump jack (Jeff W, Unsplash)

¶ “Why Your Banking Habits Matter For The Climate” • The connection between investments and greenhouse gas emissions may not be intuitively clear. But your financial habits could be having a big impact on the environment. As a consumer with money to invest, the decisions you take about what to do with it can be surprisingly important. [BBC]

¶ “Big Oil Woos Big Corn To Fight Off Biden EV Push” • Like a deer in the headlights, Big Oil is watching the fast moving train wreck headed its way and trying everything it can think of to avoid the carnage a major market disruption will bring. And one thing that includes is likely to be cozying up to its longtime rival, the ethanol industry. [CleanTechnica]

Corn field under a cloud (Dave Hoefler, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Autonomous Vehicles Take To The Skies With Emergency Auto Landing” • Emergency Autoland (EAL) is coming. EAL would take over an airplane if it detects that the pilot is not able to fly it. It then handles all of the flying tasks, including sending out warnings to control towers and other aircraft. And it can land the plane, preventing loss of life. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Scania Ditches Fuel Cell Trucks To Focus On Full Electric” • Sweden’s Scania AB, one of the world’s largest heavy duty truck and bus manufacturers, is benching its fuel cell electric vehicle program and pushing ahead with full electric, powertrains built around batteries for its zero emission transport future. Scania is owned by Volkswagen AG. [CleanTechnica]

Scania electric truck (Scania image)

¶ “Climate Change Report ‘Incredibly Encouraging’, PM Says” • The first report of New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission shows that reaching the country’s emissions reduction goals is both achievable and affordable. The Prime Minister calls this incredibly encouraging. The report lays out a path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions drastically. [RNZ]

¶ “Open the Gates! 23% Plugin Vehicle Share in Europe!” • The overall automotive market still in the red in December (-4% YoY), but Europe’s passenger plugin vehicle market had an historic month, having registered a record 281,000 vehicles (+264% YoY!), adding an amazing 115,000 units to the previous record, which was set in the previous month. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Zoe (Renault Press Image)

 

¶ “First Nuclear Unit With Hualong One Reactor In Operation” • China’s first nuclear power unit using Hualong One, the country’s indigenous third-generation nuclear power technology, was put into commercial operation, China National Nuclear Corporation said. China is one of only four countries that have developed third-generation reactors. [Chinadaily USA]

¶ “China’s Renewable Energy Generation Maintains Growth In 2020” • China’s renewable energy generation rose 8.4% year on year to 2.21 trillion kWh in 2020, according to the National Energy Administration. By the end of last year, the national renewable energy capacity had hit 934 GW, up 17.5% from the year before. [Global Times]

Wind turbines in China (Chris Lim, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Ikea Bought 11,000 Acres Of Forest In Georgia To Protect It From Development ” • Ingka Group, which owns and operates most Ikea stores, acquired forestland in southeast Georgia to protect it and its diverse ecosystems from development. The company announced that it purchased 10,840 acres of land near the Altamaha River Basin. [CNN]

¶ “Tucson Electric Power’s Biggest Solar Farm Taking Shape South Of The City” • The Wilmot Energy Center, a 100-MW PV project with 30 MW of linked battery storage, is currently under construction south of Tucson. A spokesman for the developer, NextEra Energy Resources, said operations are scheduled to begin as early as April. [Arizona Daily Star]

Wilmot Energy Center (David Sanders, Tucson Electric Power)

¶ “US Transportation Emissions Expected To Shoot Up Again In 2021 And 2022” • With the Covid-19 pandemic, the Earth had a momentary pause from escalating CO₂ emissions. Unfortunately that was only a pause. Information from the Energy Information Administration implies that we will return to 2019 emissions levels from transportation in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scientist Jobs Left Vacant By Previous Admin Need Filling As Biden Tackles Environmental Challenges” • The number of scientists who carry out environmental research, enforcement and other jobs fell in several agencies, and sharply in some, under former President Donald Trump, federal data shows. That is a challenge for President Joe Biden. [KTLA]

Have an inexpressibly magical day.

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January 30 Energy News

January 30, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Dizzying Pace Of Biden’s Climate Action Sounds Death Knell For Era Of Denialism” • The first ten days of Biden’s presidency have represented a startling handbrake turn from Donald Trump’s term, where climate science was routinely disparaged or sidelined and policies to cut planet-heating emissions were jettisoned. This is a new era. [The Guardian]

President Biden signing an executive order (White House photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Is The Hydrogen Generator That Will Power The Extreme E Electric Off-Road Racers” • The upcoming Extreme E off-road series for electric race cars has brought up questions about where the fuel would come from in the remote deserts and jungles. Extreme E just revealed the portable, hydrogen-powered generator to make the fuel. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why Is VW’s MEB Platform Being Used In Boats?” • The idea behind VW’s MEB platform is to have common electric drive components for a broad variety of electric vehicles. MEB is more about having common motors, controllers, modular battery packs, and related components than about a specific skateboard design. It can go into boats. [CleanTechnica]

Silent-Yachts Silent 55 (VW and Silent-Yachts image, cropped)

¶ “PowerX Energy Suite Aims To Help Upgrade Your House Into A More Efficient “Smart” Home” •  A crowdfunded “smart” home sensor system, PowerX, promises to give people insight into their home’s electricity, water consumption, and water heating usage on a very granular level. It claims to enable savings of “an average of $360/year per person.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Snowy Owl Spotted In New York’s Central Park For First Time In 130 Years” • A snowy owl was spotted in New York City’s Central Park Wednesday morning for the first time in 130 years, The New York Times reported. Snowy owls live in Arctic areas but are known to venture south during the winter, if they need to find something to eat. [EcoWatch]

Snowy owl (Kendra Young, Unsplash)

¶ “USA Wins Electric Vehicle Battery Battle With Assist From US Army” • The big energy storage news comes from Brookhaven National Laboratory, part of the US DOE’s sprawling network of A-list research facilities, and it’s a fine example of how science never sleeps. Brookhaven scientists have been working tirelessly, despite a president’s disapproval. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Meet CityQ, The 4-Wheeled Electric ‘Car-eBike’ That Can Carry Passengers And Cargo” • The CityQ is another approach to micromobility. It’s a 4-wheeled enclosed electric “Car-eBike” with a range of up to 43-62 miles (70-100 km) per charge and a 5-hour charge time. It can carry two adults (or one adult and two kids) and/or cargo. [CleanTechnica]

CityQ (Image via CityQ)

¶ “Corporates Buy A Record 23.7 GW Of Renewable Capacity In 2020” • Corporations purchased a record of 23.7 GW of clean energy in 2020, up from 20.1 GW in 2019 and 13.6 GW in 2018, BloombergNEF research shows. This came despite Covid-19, global recession, and uncertainty about US energy policy ahead of the presidential election. [Smart Energy]

¶ “S&P Warns Oil Majors A Downgrade Is Coming ‘Within Weeks'” •  According to The Guardian, the well-known financial ratings company S&P has warned thirteen of the largest oil and gas companies in the world that it may downgrade their credit rating within weeks because of increasing competition from renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

Oil platform (NAFTA)

¶ “Maharashtra To Power Modi Govt’s Rooftop Solar Mission” • Targeting generation of 38,000 MW of power through rooftop solar by the end of 2022, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has now tasked Maharashtra with setting up 500 MW of residential solar power under the centrally-sponsored Off Grid Rooftop Solar Program. [The Indian Express]

¶ “Better Energy Secures Power Deal For Danish PV” • Global pharmaceutical company Lundbeck has entered a seven-year PPA with Better Energy to ensure 100% renewable electricity consumption. As a result of the agreement, Better Energy will build a new 34-MW solar park and bring more new renewable electricity into the Danish grid. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Better Energy image)

US:

¶ “Minnesota Lawmakers Begin Work On Renewable Energy Bill” • Minnesota lawmakers are beginning work on clean energy legislation that would require utilities to generate 100% of their electricity from carbon-free resources by 2040, as a renewed focus on climate change ramps up with a new administration in the White House. [Finance and Commerce]

¶ “BP And Equinor Cement US Offshore Wind Partnership” • BP and Equinor completed the formation of their strategic US offshore wind partnership. This includes a $1.1 billion purchase by BP of 50% interest in two major lease areas off the US East Coast owned by Equinor. The new partnership will develop up to 4.4 GW through two projects. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind power (Equinor image)

¶ “EDF Renewables Switches On 214 MW Of Solar + Storage In Southern California” • EDF Renewables North America reached commercial operation of the 114-MW Desert Harvest 1 and 100-MW Desert Harvest 2 Solar Projects on land in Riverside County, California. Desert Harvest 2 includes a 35-MW, 4-hour energy storage system.  [Solar Power World]

¶ “Investors See Green Returns As Renewable Energy Rises” • FirstSolar, Enphase, and SunPower are among the renewable energy stocks that benefit from a friendly administration in the White House, whose agenda includes tackling climate change and bolstering green energy. Their stocks soared last year, far outpacing the wider market. [WIZM NEWS]

Have a superlatively convenient day.

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