Posts Tagged ‘renewable power’

March 22 Energy News

March 22, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Virginia Governor Tilting At Windmills, Releases Bogus RGGI ‘Report’” • Incoming Virginia Gov Youngkin in January tasked his Special Advisor and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler with producing an assessment of Virginia’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Somehow, the report lost about every good mention of renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution (Ella Ivanescu, Unsplash)

¶ “Reliance On Nuclear Power Is The Last Thing Japan Needs” • A nuclear power state of emergency issued by the government on the day of the March 11, 2011, Fukushima nuclear disaster has yet to be lifted. Eleven years on, the nation is still reeling from the catastrophic damage to TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶ “Going Nuclear: Can Boris Johnson Really Ramp Up Nuclear Power?” • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is no stranger to eye-catching pledges and, in fairness, he occasionally achieves them. His latest media-friendly commitment for “big new bets” on nuclear is typical Johnsonian politics. It is brash and bold. It is also intentionally vague. [City AM]

Construction of new power station at Hinkley
Point, 2017 (Nick Chipchase, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

World:

¶ “Climate Change: ‘Madness’ To Turn To Fossil Fuels Because Of Ukraine War” • The UN Secretary General says the rush to use fossil fuels due to the war in Ukraine is “madness” and threatens climate targets. Antonio Guterres warns that these short-term measures to get fossil fuels to replace those from Russia might “close the window” on the Paris climate goals. [BBC]

¶ “Taiga Begins Deliveries Of Its Electric Snowmobile” • Taiga has electrified one of the most challenging vehicles in the off-road segment. The Taiga Nomad was the world’s first electric snowmobile to reach production, and the first examples have begun to reach customers, as the company continues to ramp up production. [CleanTechnica]

Taiga electric snowmobiles (Taiga image)

¶ “IEA Ten-Point Plan To Cut Demand For Oil By 2.7 Million Barrels A Day” • The International Energy Agency foresees an energy crunch ahead, especially for summer travel times. This is due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the disruption to energy supplies that results. The IEA has a ten-point plan to reduce energy demand. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Revenge Of The Electric Truck Hydropower Scheme, Infinity Train Edition” • The idea behind the electric truck hydropower scheme is simple. Send an electric truck with a large container up to the top of a mountain, fill it with water from streams that are there, and send it down the mountain again. Fortescue is using the same idea for ore trains. [CleanTechnica]

Fortescue ore train (Fortescue image)

¶ “Crown Estate Invests In Welsh Tidal Demo Zone” • The Crown Estate to invest over £1 million in a Welsh tidal stream energy demonstration project site, located off the coast of Anglesey in north Wales. The Morlais tidal stream demonstration zone, being developed by Menter Mon, covers an area of 35 sq km in the Irish Sea. [reNews]

US:

¶ “Severe Storms And Reported Tornadoes Tear Through Texas As Storm System Heads East” • There were 17 tornado reports across Texas and Oklahoma, a CNN meteorologist said, and over 800,000 people were under a flash-flood warning in the Austin area. The line of severe weather struck as the state was already dealing with more than 170 wildfires. [CNN]

Austin, Texas (Carlos Alfonso, Unsplash)

¶ “Electricity Prices Are Up, But An EV Is Still Much Cheaper Than A Conventional Car” • Based on calculations, CNBC says while oil prices are likely to fall in the coming months as output is increased, “it’s unlikely that the price of electricity will rise enough to make EVs less affordable over their life cycles than internal combustion alternatives.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Begins Production Of Electric Cadillac Lyriq” • GM celebrated the production of its first Ultium-powered electric Cadillac Lyriq rolling off the assembly line. It also announced plans to reopen its order books in May after selling out the entirety of its first production run within minutes of the vehicle’s announcement last year. [CleanTechnica]

Cadillac Lyriq (Nissangeniss, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Deep Red Alabama Dives Headlong Into Green Energy” • Renewable energy can make strange bedfellows along the political divide, and the latest example is Alabama, which has been wandering in the doldrums of the green energy revolution while others leap ahead. Alabama is now poised to kick its solar output into high gear. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “AEP Brings 998-MW Traverse Wind Online In Oklahoma” • American Electric Power brought online the 998-MW Traverse Wind Energy Center in Oklahoma. The project has 365 2-MW GE turbines. It provides electricity to customers of AEP’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Southwestern Electric Power Company in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. [reNews]

Traverse wind farm (AEP image)

¶ “Sustainability Planners At ATL Draft Plan For 100% Renewable Energy By 2035” • Major efforts are underway to reduce carbon footprint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The airport’s new sustainable management plan is a roadmap aimed at achieving 100% renewable energy by 2035 and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. [CBS46 News]

¶ “Governor Signs New Wyoming Nuclear Regulations Into Law” • Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed into law legislation to amend the state’s nuclear power and storage regulations. The law includes various provisions related to producing nuclear energy and storing nuclear waste. The state is anticipating construction of a TerraPower Natrium reactor. [Oil City News]

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March 21 Energy News

March 21, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Increasing Oil Drilling Won’t Solve High Gas Prices” • More oil drilling will not solve high gas prices, despite what the fossil fuel industry wants you to believe. US Rep Sean Casten (D-IL) pointed out that the oil industry and conservative politicians are both lying when they make the claim that increasing oil drilling will alleviate high gas prices. [CleanTechnica]

Oil rig (Worksite Ltd, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Show Large Impact Of Controlling Humidity On Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • Analysis by National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Xerox PARC scientists explores impacts on the environmental due to controlling humidity. It showed that humidity accounts for roughly half of the energy-related emissions from air conditioners. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scientists Astonished By Heatwaves At North And South Poles” • Startling heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles are causing alarm among climate scientists, who have warned the “unprecedented” events could signal faster and abrupt climate breakdown. At both the North Pole and Antarctica, temperatures reached record high levels over the weekend. [The Irish Times]

Penguin (Ian Parker, Unsplash)

¶ “The Epic Attempts To Power Planes With Hydrogen” • During the Cold War, both the US and USSR researched liquid hydrogen as a way to fuel aircraft. Could this cleaner fuel finally be around the corner? Liquid hydrogen has advantages over the alternative, kerosene. But it also has some pretty significant disadvantages. A lack of support infrastructure is just a start. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Tübingen: Europe’s Fiercely Vegan, Fairy-Tale City” • Located in a German region famed for its frugality, Tübingen is known for its fiercely green reputation, where the default setting is veganism and environmental friendliness. Now the city has passed a tax on packaging for single-use meals packaging. McDonalds is suing. [BBC]

Tübingen (David Hertle, Unsplash)

¶ “Saudi Aramco Ramps Up Investment To Boost Production” • State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco plans to sharply increase the amount it invests in energy production and aims to boost output significantly over the next five years. It reported doubling profits in 2021, and energy prices have soared recently as demand has outstripped supplies of oil and gas. [BBC]

¶ “Porsche Ramps Up Its Electric Car Plans” • You know the EV revolution is moving forward when Porsche announces it expects 50% of the cars its sells to come with a plug by 2025, and 80% by 2030. Last year, the company sold a record 301,915 cars. In Europe, nearly 40% of them were either a plug-in hybrid or a battery-electric car. [CleanTechnica]

Porsche EV (Porsche image)

¶ “Academics Say Universities Must Reject Fossil Fuel Cash For Climate Research” • Universities must stop accepting funding from fossil fuel companies to conduct climate research, even if the research is aimed at developing green and low-carbon technology, an influential group of over 500 distinguished academics has said. [The Guardian]

¶ “NSW Announces Net Zero Shore Power Plan For Shipping Precinct” • The New South Wales government plans to build a fully renewable-energy shore-powered shipping precinct in Sydney. Shore power involves land-based infrastructure that can power ships while they are at berth, allowing crew to switch off engines and generators. [Government News]

Port area in Sydney (Dan Freeman, Unsplash)

¶ “Gladstone Hydrogen, Renewable Energy Transition Prompts Strategy For Change” • Charities and local advocacy groups in central Queensland are working together to ensure the transition to one of Australia’s green energy powerhouses doesn’t leave the Gladstone region behind. Dozens of renewable energy projects are proposed for the area. [ABC]

¶ “Ukraine Crisis: Staff Rotated At Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant” • The International Atomic Energy Agency has been notified by Ukraine that nearly half of the staff members working at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, site of the meltdown of 2011, were rotated and allowed to go to their homes for the first time after nearly four weeks. [Power Technology]

Chernobyl confinement (Niels Nørløv Hansen, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “PM To Chair Roundtable On Boosting UK’s Nuclear Power Output” • Boris Johnson will chair a meeting on how to increase the UK’s nuclear power output, as he prepares to publish his energy security strategy this month amid soaring prices. The prime minister will discuss domestic nuclear projects with leaders from the nuclear industry. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Sonoma County Airport Launches Solar Power Systems” • The Charles M Schulz Sonoma County Airport had two solar power systems installed put them on the grid in February. Challenged by climate change, Sonoma County’s government set a goal for the county to be carbon neutral by 2030. The airport solar power arrays fit that carbon-free plan. [CleanTechnica]

Sonoma County Airport (ForeFront Power image)

¶ “Tiny Cohoes To Floating Solar Wallflowers: Catch Me If You Can!” • Cohoes, New York, appears to have solved a big problem for PV in communities that don’t have enough open space for large solar arrays, and that could have broad implications for both urban and rural solar development. It is going for a floating solar array on a 10-acre reservoir. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Finally! Publicly Traded US Companies Will Have To Report GHG Emissions” • It is reported that the SEC will announce it is stepping up to require all publicly traded companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and the climate risks they face. This announcement is expected to shake up hundreds of businesses. [CleanTechnica]

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March 20 Energy News

March 20, 2022

Opinion and Interview: 

¶ “Could Russia’s Reckless Rampage Endanger Nuclear Power?” • Russia’s reckless rampage includes savage attacks on Ukrainian nuclear plants. Shelling the plants raises questions about Russia’s future role in the international energy picture. It also poses a dilemma about whether nuclear energy is safe in a world where a madman can unleash vengeance. [Forbes]

Rivne nuclear power plant (Tanya Dedyukhina, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “The Hydrogen Risks For Homeowners And Public Money” • The author talks with Paul Martin about the new Hydrogen Science Coalition, embrittlement of steel, and transmission leaks. Then they go to other leakage, especially in homes, the increased risks from hydrogen in buildings, shipping boil-off rate, global supply implications, and more. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Odd Car Designs Are Lacking In Today’s Auto Industry” • Is it just me, or has all the fun been sucked out of the auto industry? In previous decades, the unique design of a car was something to be celebrated. It used to be that cars had fins, and chances were taken. Some models succeeded and some didn’t. Quirky and odd were qualities to be celebrated. [CleanTechnica]

Really? Toyota concept (Maximalfocus, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Expos Proliferate As Queensland Introduces An EV Subsidy” • Queensland has finally joined the southern Australian states of New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia in offering a rebate for the purchase of an electric vehicle. The Queensland government is proposing a $3000 rebate for the purchase of vehicles under $58,000. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 And Model Y Top EV Sales In Germany In February” • In Germany, the overall new car market had its first signs of relief (+3% year over year), but that was due to strong sales of battery EVs (+55% YoY). There were 28,306 battery EV registrations for the month, a 14% share of the market. The rest of the market was down. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Tyler Casey, Unsplash)

¶ “Cameron’s Decision To Cut ‘Green Crap’ Now Costs Each Household In England £150 A Year” • A study finds that ending onshore wind projects, solar subsidies, and schemes for energy efficiency has inflated bills. The decision by David Cameron’s government to ditch policies he called “green crap” will cost households £150 a year by fall. [The Guardian]

¶ “Anglo American To Build Huge Renewable Energy Plants” • Anglo and Électricité de France have agreed jointly to develop on-site and off-site solar and wind farms in South Africa with 3 GW to 5 GW of production capacity over the next decade, the companies said. The plan will bolster South Africa’s renewable electricity output greatly. [TechCentral]

Anglo American platinum mine (Anglo American image)

¶ “IAEA Director General Statement On Situation In Ukraine” • Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that Ukrainian engineers had repaired and reconnected one of three previously disconnected power lines linking the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant to the electricity grid, the IAEA’s Director General said. [International Atomic Energy Agency]

¶ “Russia’s Energy Clout Doesn’t Just Come From Oil And Gas – It’s Also A Key Nuclear Supplier” • As Western nations look for ways to reduce their reliance on Russian oil and gas, another aspect of the Ukraine crisis has received less attention: Most of the 32 countries that use nuclear power rely on Russia for some part of their nuclear fuel supply chain. [NDTV.com]

Yellow cake, processed uranium (US NRC image, public domain)

US:

¶ “Can Tesla Meet 2022 Goals For In-House Battery Production?” • In late 2020, Musk announced that Tesla aimed to halve the costs of the most expensive part of an EV by producing its own batteries. With a smaller number of Tesla’s 4680 lithium-ion batteries, the car gets longer range. But Tesla faces a lot of work ramping up its battery factory. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RI Plans To Buy More Offshore Wind Power To Help Meet Goal Of 100% Renewable Energy” • Governor Dan McKee is moving ahead with a plan to ramp up Rhode Island’s supply of power from offshore wind farms that would be developed off the coast of Southern New England. He asked for another 600 MW of offshore wind energy. [The Providence Journal]

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

¶ “Big-Box Stores Could Reduce Emissions And Save Millions By Putting Solar Panels On Roofs” • As the US attempts to wean itself off its heavy reliance on fossil fuels and shift to cleaner energy sources, many experts are eyeing a promising solution: your neighborhood big-box stores and shopping malls. But the solution could be used much more. [KESQ]

¶ “Drought Deepens In West, Flooding Ebbs” • There’s no relief in sight for the West’s record-shattering drought, which will likely keep deepening this spring, NOAA said. But central and eastern states should be mostly spared from significant flooding. Spring is likely to be hotter than normal in most states and drier in much of the West. [KSL News]

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March 19 Energy News

March 19, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Happy With My Tesla Model 3, And Now I’m Thankful Too!” • When I bought my car, I went all in for the “Long Range” dual-motor option and the Full Self Driving option. I say, “Navigate to Brighton” and let my car drive me the 50 miles from my home in Lindon, Utah, to the Brighton Ski Resort, as I pass gas stations with regular gas at $4.29 per gallon. [CleanTechnica]

Snowy road (Bailey Zindel, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Climate Change Is Leading To Bigger Hailstones” • One result of climate change is bigger hailstorms. In Texas, Alabama, and Colorado, records for largest hailstone have been broken in the last three years, reaching sizes of up to 16cm (6.2 inches) in diameter. In 2020, Tripoli, the capital of Libya, was struck by hailstones nearly 18 cm (7.1 in) across. [BBC]

¶ “Fleetzero’s Container Ship Battery-Swapping Scheme May Help Electrify Shipping” • Fleetzero has developed a 2-MWh LiFePO₄ battery pack that fits in a shipping container. A ship can load enough containers onboard to complete a sea voyage, then swap them out when they are depleted for fully charged batteries while the ship is in port. [CleanTechnica]

Fleetzero ship (Fleetzero image)

World:

¶ “Italy’s EV Market Doubled In 2021 – Any Growth In 2022?” • In Italy, petrol and diesel powertrains closed 2021 at 29.7% and 22.6% market share respectively (from 37.5% and 33.1% in 2020). Plugless hybrids reached 29% and are the leading powertrains in Italy’s monthly sales now. Plug-in options are lagging behind, but continue to break records. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Germany Gets On Board With EU ICE Ban” • The EU is in favor of banning sales of cars with internal combustion engines by 2035. Germany has been reluctant to make that commitment, but Politico reports that Germany has reluctantly signed on to the 2035 ICE ban and will ditch plans to lobby for key exemptions to EU CO₂ emissions targets. [CleanTechnica]

EV (Martin Katler, Unsplash)

¶ “Poland To Rethink Role Of Russian Gas In Green Energy Transition, As Nuclear Plans Go Ahead” • Poland is rethinking the role of natural gas in its transition away from coal-fired energy, as it seeks to avoid dependence on Russian fuels. Russia’s war on Ukraine has compelled the EU to attempt to reduce dependence on fossil fuels from Russia. [Euronews]

¶ “Fitch: Uncertainty Holding Up 4 GW In Mexico’s Renewable Pipeline” • A floor vote on the planned constitutional reforms to Mexico’s electric power sector is unlikely to come before “late 2022,” Fitch Ratings says. Meanwhile, sector-wide uncertainty is increasing as information on a timetable, potential changes, and implementation approaches is lacking. [BNamericas]

¶ “Belgium Delays Nuclear Energy Exit By Ten Years Due To Ukraine War” • Belgium has delayed by a decade a plan to scrap nuclear energy in 2025, as energy prices due to Russia’s war on Ukraine. “The federal government has decided to take the necessary steps to extend the life of two nuclear reactors by ten years,” the Belgian Prime Minister said. [RTL Today]

¶ “Capital Power Signs 126-MW PPA In Alberta” • Ethylene glycol manufacturer MEGlobal Canada is to buy 126 MW of electricity from Capital Power from the Whitla wind farm in Alberta. The 10-year power purchase agreement is expected to meet the electricity needs at MEGlobal’s Canadian manufacturing facilities starting on 1 April. [reNews]

Whitla wind farm (Capital Power image)

US:

¶ “Estimating The Cost Of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations” • States getting EV charging station funds can count on new jobs. The country has about 47,000 public charging stations, but as the administration rolls out its plan to build a network of 500,000 electric charging stations by the end of the decade, that number will increase quickly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Argonne Tools Helping Build Equitable Nationwide EV Charging: Electric Vehicle Charging Justice40 Map” • The US DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory contributed critical tools and expertise to a federal initiative aiming to help states build EV charging stations fairly and equitably. The network is to have 500,000 stations within ten years. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an EV (Jenny Ueberberg, Unsplash)

¶ “Ford F-150 Lightning EPA Range Ratings Leaked Online” • A Reddit user posted stickers for various Ford F-150 Lighting models. The source of the photos posted is not revealed, Jim Farley hasn’t returned our calls, and the accuracy of the photos cannot be independently verified (they sure look authentic, though), so take them accordingly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kansas Bill Targeting Property Tax Breaks For Wind Farms Fails In Committee Vote” • Another bill criticized as an effort to end development of wind farms in Kansas died in committee. It was introduced by Sen Mike Thompson, who keeps introducing bills critics say are attempts to stymie renewable energy dressed as efforts to protect rural Kansas. [Kansas Reflector]

Kansas wind farm (Daniel Thomas, Unsplash)

¶ “Federal legislation introduced to build renewable energy ‘superhighway'” • Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced a bill, Connecting Hard-to-reach Areas with Renewable Energy (CHARGE), that is designed to make critical changes to energy transmission planning and operations in support of a future powered by renewable energy. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “US Developer Plots 800-MW Idaho Wind Farm Build” • LS Power affiliate Magic Valley Energy is planning to build an 800-MW wind farm called Salmon Falls in Idaho. The project is proposed to be built on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Twin Falls County. Construction could start as early as 2024. [reNews]

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March 18 Energy News

March 18, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “EU: Help Households, Take Socially Just Measures, Don’t Cut Taxes For Wealthy SUV Drivers” • As EU economics and finance ministers meet to discuss high energy costs and fuel taxes, T&E urges governments to avoid a blanket reductions in fuel taxes. In a letter to ministers, T&E says they should instead pursue more effective and socially just measures. [CleanTechnica]

Arc de Triomphe, Paris (Florian Wehde, Unsplash)

¶ “We Need Humans To Achieve A Just Energy Transition” • The energy transition is ultimately a human transition. Why do we pioneer technological, financial, and policy innovations? For people. Who drives these innovations? People. To truly achieve a just energy transition, we must ensure an inclusive human-centered approach. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Could The Energy Crisis Boost The Path To Renewables?” • The Oil & Gas price spike has reignited important conversations about the need to invest in alternative energy sources. Fossil fuels still provide around 85% of global energy and nearly half of the EU’s natural gas imports continue to come from Russia. Over-reliance on fossil fuels is not safe. [Energy Voice]

Offshore wind turbine (Grahame Jenkins, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Storing Renewable Electricity With Supercritical CO₂ Heat Pump” • Researchers in Spain have designed a pumped thermal energy storage system that uses supercritical carbon dioxide as a heat pump and a heat engine. The proposed system is claimed to achieve an efficiency of 80.26% and an LCOS of €0.116/kWh (13¢/KWh, A$0.18/KWh). [pv magazine Australia]

World:

¶ “Airline Giant Delta Warns Oil Increases Mean Higher Ticket Prices” • Higher oil prices are set to lead to a 10% increase in air fares, according to Ed Bastian, head of Delta Air Lines. He told the BBC that the final impact “really depends where fuel prices settle.” Oil prices have reached 14-year highs after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. [BBC]

Delta jet (Miguel Ángel Sanz, Unsplash)

¶ “Which Gas Will Europe Import Now? The Choice Matters To The Climate” • A breakdown of emissions finds that transporting gas through Russian pipelines is three times as climate intensive as shipping it from the US. While LNG shipping accounts for 20% to 30% of transport emissions, pipeline transport dominates total shipping emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Audi Shows Off A6 Avant Concept For Wagon Lovers” • The Audi A6 Avant is a pre-production concept, but it is scheduled to appear in showrooms a year after the Audi A6 Sportback. It is “a completely tangible look at future production models on our new PPE technology platform,” says technical development chief Oliver Hoffmann. [CleanTechnica]

Audi A6 Avant concept (Audi image)

¶ “Middle Eastern Oil Producers Worried More People Will Buy EVs As A Result Of High Oil Prices” • Some Middle Eastern oil producers are worried that more people will buy EVs in light of the high oil prices. Iraq’s oil minister, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, shared these thoughts with the New York Times, noting that members of OPEC are concerned. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Acciona Completes 8.5-MW Spanish Solar Build” • Acciona Energia has completed an 8,500 kW solar plant as part of a green hydrogen project on the island of Mallorca. Spanish EPC outfit Colway Energia built the Lloseta PV plant for Acciona, which forms part of the Power to Green Hydrogen Mallorca project, led by Acciona Energia and Enagas. [reNews]

Solar power plant (Colway Energia image)

¶ “To Really Address Climate Change, Australia Could Make 27 Times As Much Electricity And Make It Renewable” • Australia’s electricity system is on the road to becoming 100% renewable as coal-fired power stations are replaced by wind and solar. But as a proportion of electricity consumed domestically, it’s on the road to more than 100% renewable. [The Conversation]

¶ “Japan Quake Revives Concerns Over Prime Minister Kishida’s Drive To Restart Idle Nuclear Plants” • A powerful quake that hit northeast of Japan has revived public concerns over the country’s nuclear energy. The earthquake serves as a challenge to anyone who argues to restart nuclear plants that have been idle since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. [The Fiji Times]

Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant (D a, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Oregon And Virginia Next In Line For Tesla Insurance” • Tesla Insurance is expanding to two new states, Virginia and Oregon, Drive Tesla Canada reports. The article noted that the policies in both states will be underwritten by Tesla General Insurance for the first time. Tesla had expanded its insurance to Arizona and Ohio earlier this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Legislation Targets Price Gouging” • It may be time to ensure that corporations pay a penalty when they price gouge. A legislative proposal seeks to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and impose a windfall profits excise tax on crude oil and to rebate the tax collected back to individual taxpayers. [CleanTechnica]

Oil platform (Image retrieved from NOAA, public domain)

¶ “Tesla Raises Its Prices Across Its Lineup – No Surprise” • Tesla has raised its prices across its vehicle lineup, and this was pretty much expected. Inflation has pretty much everyone raising prices. The most affordable Model 3 in the US is now $46,990, Bloomberg reported, while noting that other Tesla models had price increases in the past week. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “San Diego Gas & Electric Orders Mitsubishi Power Emerald Storage Solution To Add Capacity For High Energy Demand” • San Diego Gas & Electric Company has awarded Mitsubishi Power an order for a 10-MW, 60-MWh battery energy storage system for its Pala-Gomez Creek Energy Storage Project in Pala, California. [Business Wire]

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March 17 Energy News

March 17, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Natural Gas Is Expensive, Dirty, And Financing War. Here Are Five Ways To Use Less Of It To Heat Your Home” • The cost of natural gas was already rising fast as the world emerged from repeated Covid lockdowns and demand for energy soared. Now the war in Ukraine is pushing prices even higher. Here are five ways to use less. [CNN]

Thermostat (Dan LeFebvre, Unsplash)

¶ “Why Ukraine-Russia War Does Not Mean We Should Produce More Oil And Gas And Build More Nuclear Power Plants – Dr Richard Dixon” • The terrible war in Ukraine is being used by opponents of green energy to promote more oil and gas, new nuclear, and even fracking. None of these makes even the slightest sense. [The Scotsman]

¶ “Ukraine Demonstrates The Problem With Nuclear Power” • Russia is in the third week of their invasion. Their willingness to risk nuclear catastrophe shows both recklessness and military inadequacy. Terrorizing civilians and threatening the ecological well-being of the planet is unusual, but sadly it is not a unique strategy of homicidal maniacs. [State of the Planet]

Another way (Sungrow EMEA, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Don’t Plant Just Any Tree To Save The Planet” • A mass tree planting can be used to start restoration of a damaged ecosystem. Adding tree planting to a renewable energy transition is a natural solution to carbon reduction. But done poorly, projects to plant trees can exacerbate issues like stormwater runoff, biodiversity loss, and soil depletion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wireless Sensors: Tiny Battery-Free Devices Float In The Wind Like Dandelion Seeds” • Inspired by dandelion seeds, a University of Washington team developed a sensor-carrying device that can travel up to 100 meters in a moderate breeze. Powered by solar cells, it can hold at least four sensors and share data up to 60 meters. [CleanTechnica]

Sensor (Mark Stone, University of Washington)

¶ “Solid-State Battery News From Samsung SDI And Sakuu” • According to Electrive, Samsung SDI has begun building a pilot production line for solid-state batteries at the company’s R&D center. It will test systems for the production of cathodes and solid electrolytes while trialing the new production processes for solid state battteries. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Saharan Dust Turns Skies Orange Over Europe” • Ski resorts that look like deserts, skies colored brilliant hues of orange, and air quality five times worse than ideal conditions all have one thing in common: Saharan dust , which is expected to worsen over Western and Central Europe and even bring “blood rain.” It was brought by the high winds of Storm Celia. [CNN]

Dust storm over Western Europe (NASA image)

¶ “Renewable Electricity + Electric Motors Will Decarbonize Transport In Europe” • Renewable electricity will do the heavy lifting to decarbonize transport, but we still need the policies to make this happen, T&E says in a submission to the UK Transport Select Committee. To do this will require as much electricity as the UK uses today. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Northvolt Will Build Its 3rd Battery Factory In Germany” • Sweden’s Northvolt announced it will build a third battery factory in the city of Heide in northern Germany. Northvolt Drei will be able to produce 60 GWh of batteries, enough for about a million electric cars, when it reaches full production. It is to begin operating in 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Battery factory (Image courtesy of Volvo Cars and Northvolt)

¶ “Plugin Vehicles Are 20% Of New Car Sales In France” • Plugins keep rising in France. Last month’s plugin vehicle registrations ended at 23,138 units, divided between 13,453 battery EVs (a 12% share of the overall auto market) and 9,685 plugin hybrids (an 8% share). Plugin hybrids grew slightly, but full battery EVs jumped 60% year over year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Red Alert For Fukushima Nuclear Plant After 7.3 Quake In Japan” • A series of earthquakes off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami advisory for Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, just over 11 years after the region endured a major nuclear disaster. The first two earthquakes, with magnitudes of 6.4 and 7.3, struck about two minutes apart. [Alaska Native News]

Typical Earthquake damage (Dave Goudreau,Unsplash,cropped)

US:

¶ “Federal Appeals Court Rules Biden Administration Can Use Key Climate Metric” • The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a Louisiana federal judge’s injunction that prevented the Biden administration from using a metric estimating the societal cost of carbon emissions in its federal environmental and climate regulations. [CNN]

¶ “Dominion Wins Approval For 1-GW Virginia PV Boost” • The Virginia State Corporation Commission approved expansion of almost 1 GW of solar and energy storage projects for Dominion Energy Virginia customers. The approved expansion includes 15 Dominion Energy Virginia projects as well as power purchase agreements with 24 other projects. [reNews]

Dominion Energy PV array (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “Wall Street Journal: Traditional Automakers Starting To Emulate Tesla’s Retail Strategy” • According to the Wall Street Journal, “As car companies go electric, some are trying to wrest control from dealers on how those vehicles will be priced and sold, aiming to make the experience closer to the direct-selling model used by Tesla.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Colorado Is About To Rapidly Expand Its Transmission Network. Should It Double As A Bike Highway System?” • Piep van Heuven, a lobbyist with Bicycle Colorado, sees the build-out of power lines as a unique opportunity to add new “power line trails” across the state. Her organization is now helping push state legislation on the issue. [Colorado Public Radio]

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March 16 Energy News

March 16, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Insanity Over Nuclear Energy: Inquirer” • The governments of the US and the Philippines have announced an agreement on the use of nuclear power. The Philippines tried to use nuclear power before, five decades ago. Generations of Filipinos were stuck with the bill for that white elephant. Now, the country is getting set to do the same thing all over again. [The Straits Times]

Near the Bataan nuclear plant (Ramon FVelasquez, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wave-Powered Desalination Device Sets Sail” • Amid salty air and crashing waves, National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers deployed a wave-powered desalination test device at Jennette’s Pier, on Nags Head beach in North Carolina, and anchored it to the nearby seabed. It is a long-awaited feat for the research team. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cellular Tuna Coming Soon” • Finless Foods, a leading cellular agriculture company focused on seafood, announced the closing of a Series B raise of $34 million to expand its operations and produce cell-based tuna this year in the US. The goal is to grow tuna in a production facility using cellular culture, so the product comes from real tuna DNA. [CleanTechnica]

Tuna dinner (Image courtesy Finless Foods)

World:

¶ “Why is turning to Saudi Arabia for oil so controversial?” • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended a trip to Saudi Arabia, saying “the widest coalition” is needed to end reliance on Russian oil and gas. But maintaining close ties with the Gulf kingdom is an issue due to its human rights record. Human rights groups point to unfair trials and executions. [BBC]

¶ “Shell’s Directors Face Legal Action From Climate Group Shareholder” • Lawyers for ClientEarth, a Shell stockholder, said they were preparing legal action against the directors of Shell over the company’s climate transition plan. They say that under the UK Companies Act, Shell’s climate strategy must align with the 2015 Paris Agreement. [CNN]

Shell station (Krzysztof Hepner, Unsplash)

¶ “28% Of New Cars Sold In Netherlands Now Plugin Cars” • After a surprisingly good January, February doubled last year’s result, with the Dutch plugin EV market reaching 28% last month. That’s mostly thanks to pure electrics (16% of new vehicle sales), which surged 275%(!) year over year. In fact, battery EVs have surpassed plugin hybrids so far this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Says EV Operations Will Be Profitable Earlier Than Expected” • Volkswagen Group told the press that several of its electric car models, including the Porsche Taycan, are sold out through the end of 2022. High demand is helping its electric car business become as profitable as its conventional car business more quickly than expected. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen EV lineup (Volkswagen via Inside Transportation)

¶ “MG Plans To Sell Mini EV In Global Markets, Starting With India” • A little EV that could change the world, the Wuling Mini EV, has been taking China by storm. Now MG is to introduce its MG 320, which will be on the same SAIC-GM-Wuling Global Small EV platform. The car will sell for 1 million, equivalent to €11,900 or $13,000. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australian Researchers Claim ‘Giant Leap’ In Technology To Produce Affordable Renewable Hydrogen” • Hysata, a company using technology developed at the University of Wollongong, said its patented capillary-fed electrolysis cells achieve 95% efficiency. The achievement could mean hydrogen costing A$2 per kg ($1.45 per kg) by 2025. [The Guardian]

Work on Hysata electrolysis (Hysata image)

¶ “UK Can Eliminate Need For Russian Gas This Year, Research Shows” • The UK could eliminate all need for imports of Russian gas this year by combining energy efficiency and renewable power generation along with a campaign to help people change their behavior, research has found. Households can fight back against war in the Ukraine. [The Guardian]

¶ “Denmark Targets 6 GW Of Electrolyzer Capacity By 2030” • The Danish government has reached an agreement to accelerate the development of green fuels, through a tender to support the construction of 4 GW to 6 GW of power-to-x capacity by 2030. Denmark will support hydrogen production, better framework conditions for producers, and other measures. [reNews]

Denmark (Adrian Cuj, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “How NREL Is Extending The Lifetime Of Solar Modules” • What makes for a good solar module? A few things are obvious: high energy yield, low cost, and reliable in the field. The Durable Module Materials Consortium is an effort led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, seeking to improve PV reliability through its research. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Allergy Season Will Start Much Earlier And Be Far More Intense Because Of Climate Crisis, Study Suggests” • A study published in Nature Communications, found by the end of the century, pollen season could begin as much as 40 days earlier than it normally has in the US because of global warming. Pollen counts could climb by up to 250%. [CNN]

Pollen (Alex Jones, Unsplash)

¶ “AEP subsidiary seeks 1.3 GW for Indiana And Michigan” • AEP subsidiary Indiana Michigan Power issued a request for proposals for renewable energy consisting of 800 MW of wind power and 500 MW of solar. Indiana Michigan Power expects some of the resources to be online by as early as the end of 2024 and the full 1.3 GW operating by the end of 2025. [reNews]

¶ “Goldman Sachs Commissions 390-MW PV-Plus-Storage In California” • Goldman Sachs Renewable Power has brought its 390-MW Slate solar plus energy storage project in Kings County in California online. Slate, which was originally developed by Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy, is backed up by 561 MWh of storage capacity. [reNews]

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March 15 Energy News

March 15, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Are ICE Vehicles Heading The Way Of CRT TVs?” • New tech replaces old tech all the time, but rarely in history have we seen what was old become worthless in such a short span of time as happened with the old TVs with cathode ray tubes. There are several reasons to believe it could happen with old technology internal combustion vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Old Portable TV (Hana Kirana, Public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists In The US Are Flying Planes Into Clouds To Make It Snow More” • With 61% of the contiguous US in drought, wouldn’t it be nice if we could just “make it rain” or just “make more snow?” Well, certain parts of the country are doing just that, sort of. It’s called cloud seeding, and it’s nothing new. It’s been around since the 1940s. [CNN]

¶ “Holes The Size Of City Blocks Are Forming In The Arctic Seafloor” • Marine scientists discovered deep sinkholes – one larger than a city block – and ice-filled hills that have formed “extraordinarily” rapidly on a remote part of Canada’s Beaufort Sea. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute published results of their study in the journal PNAS. [CNN]

Underwater vehicle (Charlie Paull © 2016 MBARI)

World:

¶ “Australian Court Overturns Teenagers’ Landmark Climate Ruling” • The Australian government has successfully appealed a court ruling that ordered the federal environment minister to consider the impact of carbon emissions on children when approving new coal mining projects. The case was originally brought by eight children. [CNN]

¶ “EU Looks To Cut Reliance On Russian Gas With Investment In Heat Pumps” • The EU is seeking to reduce use of fossil fuels to stop financing Russian aggression. One pillar of the European Commission’s new REPowerEU plan is the increased deployment of electric heat pumps to displace fossil gas demand for heating in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

Heat pump guts (Oak Ridge National Laboratory image)

¶ “Diversifying The Rare Earth Value Chain For Europe’s Green Transition – Puławy Separation Plant In Poland” • To Secure critical raw materials for the European market, the European Raw Materials Alliance will support Mkango Resources Ltd. with getting financing for the development of a rare earth separation plant to be built in Puławy, Poland. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Subaru Planning For Life After STI” • Subaru says it is looking beyond internal combustion engines to electric powertrains. It just announced its first battery-EV model, the Solterra, which will be a high-performance car designed to be a successor of the STI. After Subaru announced the Solterra, the model was sold out for the year in the first 48 hours. [CleanTechnica]

Subaru STI (Image courtesy of Subaru)

¶ “Widespread Support In EU Parliament For 45% Renewable Energy Target” • There is growing support in the European Parliament to increase the EU’s 2030 renewable energy target. The European Commission is set to push for its 2030 target to be increased to 45%. Just over 22% of Europe’s energy comes from renewables currently. [EURACTIV.com]

¶ “Strong Demand Prompted Increased Funds For Renewable Power Sources At Cabins” • The Government of Nunavut raised the funding available through its Renewable Energy Cabin Grant Program by $100,000 due to strong demand. There were 82 applications from Nunavummiut for financial assistance to install solar or wind systems on cabins. [NNSL Media]

Arctic cabin (Hendrik Morkel, Unsplash)

¶ “US To Help Philippines Develop Nuclear Power Program; Groups Push Renewable Energy Instead” • The Philippines and the US have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to develop the Philippines’ nuclear power program. But a Manila-based climate and energy policy group said that nuclear is no better than coal. [Philippine Star]

¶ “Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Loses Power Hours After Being Turned Back On” • Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear plant has lost power just hours after it was restored. The decommissioned plant, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, was seized by Russian forces within days of the invasion. Its high-voltage power line was damaged by fighting. [Metro]

Chernobyl Confinement (Cls14, GNU License 1.2)

US:

¶ “House Democrats To Biden: Use Climate Action To Restart Negotiations On Spending Bill” • A bloc of 89 House Democrats sent a letter to President Biden urging him to restart negotiations on a Democrat-only spending bill centered around climate action. The lawmakers stressed that Biden must not fail to act on climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Court Case In Hawaii Against Fossil Fuel Companies Passes Major Milestone” • In Hawaii, a state judge ruled that a lawsuit seeking damages from major oil and gas companies can move forward. The companies are accused of working for decades to deceive the public and policymakers about the devastating impacts of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

Hawaii (Luca Bravo, Unsplash)

¶ “Wood Mackenzie In Partnership With Puerto Rican Solar Foundation” • Wood Mackenzie is partnering with the Let’s Share The Sun Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity that focuses on helping the poorest get access to electricity. They sent a team of three analysts to Puerto Rico to help with installing solar PVs on off-grid housing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sarasota Takes Next Step Toward 100% Renewable Energy Target” • The City of Sarasota is moving forward to meet its goal of 100% renewable energy generation by 2045. In collaboration with the Sierra Club, the Race to Zero campaign and the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sarasota is to embark on a deep energy analysis. [Sarasota Magazine]

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March 14 Energy News

March 14, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Why Putin Is Hell-Bent On Capturing Ukraine’s Nuclear Reactors” • “Turning off the power nationwide, as [Russian force] have done on a smaller scale in Mariupol, in the middle of winter creates mass hardship and suffering for the Ukrainian people, and that is apparently a weapon Putin feels free to utilize,” one expert on warfare said. [Yahoo]

Khmelnitskiy nuclear plant (RLuts, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Will Russia’s War Spur Europe To Move On Green Energy?” • “Switching from Russia gas is possible, but make no mistake, it’s going to be expensive, especially if companies want to terminate their existing long-term contracts,” says Jonathan Stern, of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. And some countries are entirely dependent on Russia for gas. [Yale E360]

Science and Technology:

¶ “It’s A New Dawn For Concentrating Solar Power” • When concentrating solar power first emerged on the renewable energy field just a few years ago, critics were quick to go on the attack. Nevertheless, fans of the technology forged ahead. Now all that hard work is about to pay off, and the EV battery supply chain could be a beneficiary. [CleanTechnica]

Concentrating solar power (Image courtesy of Heliogen)

¶ “NHTSA: Self-Driving Vehicles No Longer Need Human Controls” • The US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has issued final rules that eliminate the need for automated vehicle manufacturers to equip fully autonomous vehicles with manual driving controls to meet crash standards, Reuters reports. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Electrifying Trains, Planes, And Dirty Big Mining Trucks” • Twiggy Forrest has all the big boy toys, and he is planning to electrify them all and run them on green hydrogen and gravity. He plans to use Williams Advanced Engineering’s battery tech in a push to electrify Fortescue’s mining equipment – trains, planes, and dirty big mining trucks. [CleanTechnica

Electric aircraft (Image: Airbus and Fortescue Future Industries)

¶ “Indian Data Center Operator Sify Signs PPAs For 231 MW Of Solar And Wind” • Reportedly, Sify and Vibrant Energy Holdings signed power purchase agreements. They cover a total of 231 MW, including 67 MW signed in March last year. Vibrant Energy is owned by Blue Leaf Energy Asia, part of Macquarie’s Green Investment Group. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Aker And Mainstream Confirm Japanese Offshore Wind Acquisition” • Aker Offshore Wind and Mainstream Renewable Power have closed a transaction to acquire a 50% stake in a Progression Energy 800-MW floating offshore wind farm in Japan. Japan aims to expand offshore wind energy capacity to 10 GW by 2030 and 30 to 45GW by 2040. [reNews]

Floatgen floating offshore wind turbine (Lo83, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Sun Cable’s Giant Northern Territory Solar Project Gets $210 Million Funding Boost” • The $30 billion plan to build a giant solar farm in northern Australia to power Darwin, Indonesia, and Singapore has moved a step closer to reality with billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest contributing to a $210 million capital raising. [The Guardian]

¶ “Adani Group Gets Two More Major Projects In Sri Lanka” • Highways Minister and Chairman of the cabinet subcommittee to expedite renewable energy projects Johnston Fernando said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa issued instructions to arrange for 5000 MW of renewable energy sources and add them to the national grid within next six years. [NewsWire]

Sri Lanka (Hendrik Cornelissen, Unsplash)

¶ “$130 Trillion Investor Coalition Commits To End Support For Corporates That Block Climate Action” • Unveiled on 14 March, the ‘Global Standard on Responsible Climate Lobbying’ has been developed by investor networks that collectively represent more than 3,800 members with more than $130 trillion (£866 billion) of assets under management. [Edie]

¶ “The Boreal Forest Is On The Move. Here’s What That Means For Our Climate” • Canada’s boreal forest isn’t exactly where you were taught it was. As the planet warms, areas farther north are becoming hospitable to coniferous trees. But the trees on the southern edge are dying out because conditions there are now too hot and dry for them to survive. [CTV News]

Boreal forest (Milk-Tea, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “An ‘Excruciating Year’: Climate Activists Reset With Biden’s Agenda On Life Support” • President Joe Biden “was supposed to show up with Build Back Better in his back pocket and slam it down on the table and say, ‘China, India, how do you like them apples?'” Bill McKibben said. “But he showed up with nothing. And had nothing really to say.” [CNN]

¶ “Stellantis CEO Certain Company Can Catch Tesla” • Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares told the world, “I am very confident – I am trying not to be arrogant, just confident – of the fact that we are going to catch up in the next couple of years with Tesla and it’s going to be a very healthy competition.” The company plans to double its revenues by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Chrysler Airflow Concept (Chrysler image)

¶ “Ford, GM, And PG&E To Begin Vehicle-To-Grid Trials” • Pacific Gas & Electric, the principle supplier of electricity in northern California, announced it will begin working with Ford and General Motors to test how vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-home systems could benefit consumers and the utility company in the future, ArsTechnica reports. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Should You Pay The Trade Association Dues For Utility Companies?” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is engaged in an inquiry about whether it should change its accounting rules to prevent electric and gas utilities from recovering expenses related to contributions for political and lobbying from their customers. [CleanTechnica]

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March 13 Energy News

March 13, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Will Russia’s Attack On Ukraine Help Thaw US-Venezuela Relations?” • These are desperate times, and desperate measures are needed. Oil helps make the world go round and Venezuela has a lot of it – and when the world is in crisis, such as with the ban on Russian oil exports causing prices to surge, leaders start revisiting those awkward friendships. [BBC]

¶ “CleanTechnica Tested: The EBL Portable Power Station” • Battery producer EBL is moving into providing portable power stations with the powerful new 1 kWh, 1,000-W EBL Portable Power Station Voyager 1000. EBL sent us one of their new power stations for us to run through the paces in the real world to see how it held up. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Traditional Automakers Could Face ‘Kodak Moment’ If They Fail To Catch Up With Tesla” • Legacy automakers are serious about EVs. But do they have what it takes to catch up with Tesla? According to Rob Hull at the UK’s This is Money media outlet, “Tesla’s ability to continue delivering EVs in 2022 could see it extend its stronghold over the market.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Vlad Tchompalov, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Lucid CEO Shares Details On Lucid’s Battery Pack In All New Series, “Tech Talks”” • Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson has opened up about Lucid’s battery pack. The automaker recently launched an all-new series called Tech Talks that will share some of the key details behind its EV technology. A video focuses on the battery pack. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rusty Metal Could Be The Battery The Energy Grid Needs” • An electrochemistry professor at the MIT, Yet-Ming Chiang, with his colleagues are working on a low-cost iron-air battery that will provide multi-day storage for renewable energy by 2024. When the battery is charged rust turns to iron, and discharging returns the iron to the form of rust. [Popular Science]

How an iron air battery works (Form Energy Image)

World:

¶ “Panasonic To Begin Mass Production Of Tesla 4680 Batteries In Fiscal Year April 2023” • Panasonic plans mass production of Tesla’s 4680 battery cells for fiscal year April 2023, reports say, with two more production lines and facilities at its Wakayama factory. There’s also a rumor that Panasonic is planning a major gigafactory somewhere in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ayana Renewable Power And Maxeon Solar Technologies Announce Completion Of The 192-MW Indian Bikaner 1 Project” • Ayana Renewable Power and Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd, announced that the 192-MW Bikaner 1 Solar Farm is now in commercial operation. The power plant was built in the state of Rajasthan in the second half of 2021. [WFMZ]

Solar farm (Red Zeppelin, Unsplash)

¶ “DOE Pushes Dispatch Of Renewable Energy Plants In Spot Market” • The Philippine Department of Energy is pushing for the preferential dispatch of all renewable energy plants in the wholesale electricity spot market to lower electricity prices. The DOE has added geothermal and impounding hydro plants in the priority dispatch for the spot market. [Philippine Star]

¶ “WWEA And Global100RE Call For Renewable Energy Equipment For Immediate Humanitarian Relief In Ukraine” • The World Wind Energy Association and the Global 100% Renewable Energy Platform are calling for donations of equipment which can supply off-grid power to bring relief to civilians in the Ukraine. [Evwind]

Solar panels (Erik Karits, Unsplash)

¶ “Government Plans To Meet 85% Of Energy Demands Using Renewables” • A 25-year vision paper by India’s renewable energy ministry proposes that coal-fired capacity expand to 2030. That coal-based power capacity would be replaced by renewable energy generation base to 85% of total demand by the end of 25 years, officials said. [Krishi Jagran]

¶ “Finland Opens Nuclear Power Plant Amid Concerns Of European Energy War” • Europe’s first nuclear power plant to open in 15 years, Olkiluoto 3, began production in Finland, at a crucial moment for energy supply following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The plant is seen as possibly helping to reduce the need to import gas from Russia. [The Guardian]

Olkiluoto 3 construction, 2009 (kallerna, public domain)

US:

¶ “Tesla Prioritizing Deliveries Of Cars With FSD” • Interest in electric cars is surging as the price of gasoline rises into the stratosphere because of Putin’s assault on Ukraine. There are reports that demand for Tesla EVs has increased by 100% since the invasion began. And why not? The economic case for EVs was strong; now it’s twice as strong. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NM wind project creating the ‘Route 66 of renewable energy'” • Pattern Energy officially dedicated its Western Spirit wind project in late February. The project includes four sprawling wind farms with a total of 377 turbines scattered throughout the three counties. It will support the electricity needs of nearly 1 million people in central New Mexico. [Yahoo News]

Wind turbines in New Mexico (Deb Haaland, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Bill Would Require RI To Get All Electricity From Renewable Sources By 2030” • Experts say that when it comes to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as required by a landmark climate change law enacted last year, the conversion of Rhode Island’s electric system to a reliance on renewable sources is the logical first step. [The Providence Journal]

¶ “Dozens March To Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station To Protest Planned Nuclear Waste Dumping” • Dozens of people rallied outside Plymouth Town Hall and marched to the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station on Saturday to protest planned nuclear waste dumping into Cape Cod Bay off the Massachusetts coast. The plant is being decommissioned. [WCVB-TV]

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March 12 Energy News

March 12, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Oil’s Absence From EU Security Strategy Leaves Europe Dependent On Despots” • The energy security strategy from the European Commission is intended to protect consumers from energy price rises. But it fails to address Europe’s oil dependence, despite oil’s importance for Putin’s war in Ukraine, says green group Transport & Environment. [CleanTechnica]

Tank truck (ALE SAT, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “US EIA Analysis Explores Energy Effects Of Low-Carbon Steelmaking” • Steelmaking accounted for around 7% of global CO₂ emissions in 2020. Producing a larger share of steel with electric arc furnaces, using renewable hydrogen instead of coal, and increasing the share of recycled steel are potential ways to decarbonize the industry. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Australia Floods: ‘I’m Angry It’s Happening Again'” • Sophia Walter is angry. In 2011, the hill she lives on in Brisbane was turned into an island by a 100-year flood. Now, it’s happened all over again, just as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was publishing its latest update saying there will be even more wildfires and more floods coming. [BBC]

Brisbane flood, 2022 (Kgbo, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “World’s Largest Electrolyzer Plant Now Under Construction” • Gladstone, Queensland will soon be home to the world’s largest electrolyzer plant. Fortescue Future Industries will also make wind turbines, solar panels, batteries, and cables there in a Green Energy Manufacturing Centre. This is all part of the green hydrogen update in Australia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nissan Qashqai E-Power Bows With Range Extending ICE” • The new Nissan Qashqai crossover was launched as an internal combustion affair, with “a new type of hybrid powertrain” only briefly mentioned – as if in passing. But the design has the internal combustion engine only for generating electricity, so it always runs at peak efficiency. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan Qashqai (Image from Nissan, via Motor 1)

¶ “Investment In Ocean Energy Increases 50% In 2021” • Ocean energy public and private investments totalled €70mn in 2021, a 50% increase on 2020, according to a new Ocean Energy report. Deployments are set to continue at a steady pace in 2022 with 2.4 MW of tidal energy and 3.9 MW of wave energy coming across the world. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Nova Scotia Says Ratepayers Guaranteed Cheaper Renewable Electricity In Historic Procurement” • Up to five projects are expected to be chosen later this summer with an aim of reducing Nova Scotia’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than a million tonnes annually. Ratepayers will not be saddled with expensive electricity, the government said. [CBC]

Wind farm in New Brunswick (Cjhoyle, public domain)

¶ “US Accuses Russia Of Violating Nuclear Safety Principles In Ukraine” • The US has accused Russia of violating nuclear safety principles in Ukraine and demanded its forces stop firing on nuclear power plants. But the US said there are no signs of any radiological release in Ukraine and radiation monitors in much of the country were still functioning. [ABC]

¶ “Half Of Ukraine Renewables Capacity ‘Under Threat'” • Half of Ukraine’s 9,500 MW of renewable capacity is threatened with complete or partial destruction due to the Russian war on the country. The Ukrainian Association of Renewable Energy said 47% of the installed renewable capacity is in the regions where active hostilities are taking place. [reNews]

Wind turbines in Ukraine (DTEK image)

¶ “Ukraine Says Russia’s Putin “Ordered The Preparation Of A Terrorist Attack” On Chernobyl Nuclear Plant” • Ukraine claims Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered the preparation of a terrorist attack” on the Chernobyl nuclear plant. A Ukrainian national emergency services agency said safety requires power for the plant’s cooling systems. [CBS News]

US:

¶ “EPA Wants To Cut Semi Emissions By 60%” • Earlier this week, the EPA said it would propose rules to reduce smog-forming and greenhouse gas emissions from heavy duty vehicles. The rules could require cuts of up to 60% in the NOₓ emissions by 2045. The Department of Transportation is to offer funding to help companies meet those goals. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Semi (Tesla image)

¶ “East Hartford To Tesla: You Can’t Sit With Us” • East Hartford has ruled in favor of local auto dealerships and pulled a move that feels petty and straight out of Mean Girls. After a permit was issued for Tesla to build a service center, it was revoked, thanks to the moves of Hoffman Auto, a local dealer group that doesn’t want Tesla in its city. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “San Antonio Power Company Pilots Pressurized Water Tech To Store Renewable Energy” • CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipal power company, agreed to test technology that uses pressurized water underground to store renewable energy. The system was designed by a company called Quidnet. The test is small, but the technology can be scaled. [KUT.org]

Quidnet’s Castilleja site (Quidnet image)

¶ “Lion Energy Plans Several US Battery Factories” • Lion Energy manufactures a range of energy storage products, from backup generators to whole house battery storage systems. Now, a press release says, it has created a new division called American Battery Factory, which is to build a number of battery manufacturing facilities in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EPA Plans Sweeping Regulatory Strategy For Power Plants Covering Air, Water And Land Pollution” • The EPA is preparing to issue a series of proposals covering pollution from power plants, especially coal-fired plants, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said. Power plants are the biggest stationary source of harmful pollution in the US. [Utility Dive]

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March 11 Energy News

March 11, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Why Record-High Gas Prices Won’t Be Solved By Drilling More Oil In The US” • As US oil and gasoline prices set records, politicians in both parties called for a seemingly easy solution: Drill our way out of the problem. But the idea that the US can be fully energy independent, thereby keeping gas prices low, is a fantasy, numerous experts told CNN. [CNN]

High prices in Massachusetts (Yassine Khalfalli, Unsplash)

¶ “Ukraine Climate Scientist Says ‘This Is A Fossil Fuel War'” • Courage is grace under pressure, an adage goes. If so, climate scientist Svitlana Krakovska is the epitome of courage as she stands ready to oppose the madness of Vladimir Putin, alone if necessary. It would be refreshing if Americans showed the same commitment to what is right. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why the retirement of a California nuclear plant should proceed as planned” • The orderly phase-out of Diablo Canyon is historic. Its life extension and retirement deal was conditioned on full replacement with lower cost zero-carbon resources, after PG&E found that baseload power is not needed for modern power grids. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Diablo Canyon nuclear plant (Don Searles, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

World:

¶ “Russia Hits Back At Western Sanctions With Export Bans” • After western countries set import limits on its oil and gas, Russia retaliated by imposing export bans on a string of products until the end of 2022. The ban covers exports of telecoms, medical, vehicle, agricultural, and electrical equipment, as well as some forestry products such as timber. [BBC]

¶ “Volkswagen ID. Buzz Is The Reborn Microbus You’ve Craved!” • After teasing us with microbus concept after concept for more than twenty years, Volkswagen has finally done it. The hotly anticipated ID. Buzz is here, and it’s a pitch-perfect redesign of the original Type II microbus – but, is it everything it needs to be to make you love it? Possibly.  [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID. Buzz (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Human Rights And Green Rules For Batteries Get Support In Europe” • Batteries produced or sold in the EU would need to comply with new environmental standards and checks to see if their raw materials are responsibly sourced, under a draft law in the EU. “This puts Europe firmly on the path to a sustainable zero-emissions future.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Increase The Ambition Of EU’s Proposed Van CO₂ Targets'” • In a letter, cities, health organisations, companies, hauliers, and civil society call for decision-makers to put vans on a credible path to zero emission and increase the ambition of the proposed CO₂ reduction targets. The letter says vans are the fastest growing climate problem in transportation. [CleanTechnica]

Delivery van (Jin Cheng, Unsplash)

¶ “Australia Sets Renewable Energy Investment Record For Fifth Year” • ustralia set renewable energy records for the fifth year in a row with more than one in four households generating power from their roofs. In 2021, renewable energy delivered 32.2% of the electricity in the national electricity market. Generation from renewables is up 23% from 2020. [The Market Herald]

¶ “Renewable Energy Generation Needs To Be Accelerated, Says SAWEA” • South Africa’s energy availability factor is once again dipping below the 60% mark. As that happens, the South African Wind Energy Association is advocating that increased power generation from renewable energy sources clearly needs to be accelerated. [ESI Africa]

Jeffreys Bay wind farm (SAWEA image)

¶ “Origin Accelerates Delivery Of Large-Scale Renewable Energy Strategy” • Australia’s largest energy retailer, Origin Energy, has ramped up plans for the delivery of large-scale renewable energy projects as it prepares to replace the capacity set to be withdrawn from the grid with the impending closure of the nation’s biggest coal-fired power station. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “Size Of Drought In US Increased By The Area Of California In The Past Month” • The West is not the only region with severely dry weather so far this year. According to Thursday’s report from the US Drought Monitor, more than 61% of the contiguous US is in some classification of drought. The figure is nearing the all-time record of 65%, set in 2012. [CNN]

Hoover Dam (Ryan Thorpe, Unsplash)

¶ “Scaling Clean: Assessing Market Options For Clean Energy And Capacity In PJM” • Spurred by state policy, strong customer demand, and rapidly improving technology, carbon-free energy is growing in PJM, the largest US wholesale electricity market. But the pace of PJM’s energy transition is much too slow to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford Offers Six New EV Chargers, Considers Zero Inventory Dealer Model” • Ford has debuted a lineup of commercial EV chargers for customers in the US. According to Electrive, they range from an 11.5-kW model to a 180-kW DC fast charging station. And Ford Authority says the company is considering a “zero inventory” sales model for EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Ford commercial vehicle center (Ford image)

¶ “Gas Prices Reach Tipping Point With Record-Breaking Prices” • Gas may have passed a tipping point. Mark Schieldrop, AAA spokesperson, told 22News, “at $4.00 a gallon they are … forced to make decisions and find ways to save that may be pretty drastic like driving less or carpooling or combining trips and being really strategic about driving.” [WWLP

¶ “Ørsted Partners On 675-MW US e-Methanol Plant” • Ørsted and AP Møller Mærsk signed a letter of intent to partner on a 675-MW power-to-X plant supplied by 1200 MW of onshore wind and solar energy. The plant will produce about 300,000 tonnes of e-methanol per year, which Mærsk will use for its methanol-powered vessels, Ørsted said. [reNews]

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March 10 Energy News

March 10, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine Highlights Vulnerability Of Nuclear Power Plants” • A series of Russian attacks near nuclear plants over the last two weeks are elevating fears of potential accidents and what they could trigger. John Yang reports on the latest and speaks to science correspondent Miles O’Brien, who covered the aftermath of Chernobyl. [PBS]

Rivne Nuclear Power Plant (Victor Korniyenko, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New, New Solid-State Battery News From MIT” • For all the advantages promised by solid state batteries, nobody seems to know how to manufacture them outside of the laboratory. But scientists at MIT found a way to overcome one of the big hurdles, instabilities in the boundary between the solid electrolyte layer and the two electrodes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kites Seeking The World’s Surest Winds” • Look up over the white sand beaches of Mauritius and you may see a gigantic sail. It’s much like the kind used by paragliders or kite surfers but the size of a three-bedroom apartment, and it loops in figures-of-eight overhead. The sail isn’t a tourist attraction – it’s a generator, creating electricity. [BBC]

Kite (Image credit: SkySails Group)

World:

¶ “Elon Musk Donates Starlink Kits To New South Wales” • Just as he did in past crises, Elon Musk has responded to pleas for help from flooded areas of New South Wales and donated Starlink resources to isolated communities. Some of the worst hit areas of the NSW Northern Rivers region have received more than ten Starlink Rapid Deployment Kits. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “War In Ukraine: Oil Prices Plunge As UAE Supports Supply Boost” • Oil prices have plunged after the UAE said it supported increasing production. The benchmark Brent crude fell more than 17% at one point after the statement. The fall follows weeks of escalating prices due to fears of supply disruptions sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. [BBC]

Oil rig (Worksite, Ltd, Unsplash)

¶ “Europe’s Dependence On Russian Oil – $285 Million A Day In Putin’s Pocket” • Europe is giving Putin $285 million a day to meet its dependence on imported oil, new data¹ shows. Transport & Environment, which carried out the study, has called for Europe to join a global embargo of Russian oil to stop funding Putin’s war in Ukraine. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In 2021 Renewable Energy Use Reached An All-Time High, But So Did CO₂ Emissions” • Increases in global CO₂ emissions more than offset the previous year’s pandemic-induced decline, according to IEA analysis. Adverse weather conditions and increases in the price of natural gas both led to more coal being burned. [pv magazine USA]

Coal-burning power plant (Tony Webster, Xcel Energy)

¶ “CEMEX Philippines Inaugurates Renewable Power Facility” • CEMEX Philippines takes a significant step in its CO₂ reduction commitment with the commissioning of a 4.5-MW heat recovery facility in its APO Cement plant in Naga City, Cebu. The excess heat created by the plant’s machines is captured and used to generate electricity. [Inquirer.net]

¶ “India Targets 85% Of Energy Needs From Green Sources” • A 25-year vision document has proposed replacing coal-based power generation capacity by stepping up the installed capacity for renewable energy generation to 85% of the total requirement, said officials. This will require 1,125 GW of renewable energy capacity. [The Economic Times]

Solar plant in Gujarat (Citizenmj, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Saudi Arabia Awards 1 GW Of Solar Packages” • Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry has signed the power-purchase agreements with the developer teams that won contracts to develop two solar PV power projects in the Kingdom. Al-Rass solar PV IPP has won a contract for 700 MW. And a Jinko Power consortium has won a 300 MW contract. [Power Technology]

¶ “Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station Loses Electricity, IAEA Sees No Risk” • Ukrainian authorities have informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that there is a danger of a radiation leak at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, after electricity was cut off to the plant, but the UN nuclear watchdog says there is “no critical impact on security.” [Press TV]

Chernobyl nuclear plant (Jason Minshull, Public domain)

US:

¶ “Chevron Phillips Will Pay Nearly $120 Million To Clean Up 3 Chemical Plants After Allegations It Violated Clean Air Act” • The Justice Department secured a settlement with the Chevron Phillips to make upgrades at three of its Texas petrochemical plants. Chevron Phillips is accused of failing to properly operate and monitor its industrial flares. [CNN]

¶ “EPA Officially Reinstates California’s Authority To Craft Its Own Vehicle Emissions Standards” • The EPA announced that it restored California’s authority to implement its own greenhouse gas emission standards and zero-emission sales mandates. The EPA is also allowing other states to adopt California’s stricter standards in lieu of the federal rules. [CNN]

Traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge (Saketh Garuda, Unsplash)

¶ “House Passes Ban On Russian Oil, Natural Gas And Coal” • The House of Representatives voted 414-17 to ban imports of Russian oil, natural gas and coal into the US. The bill will also take steps to revisit Russia’s role in the World Trade Organization and reauthorize the Magnitsky Act to strengthen sanctions on Russia for human rights violations. [CNN]

¶ “Nearly $1.5 Billion In Grants To Modernize US Bus Fleets And Facilities” • At an event with Vice President Kamala Harris, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Transit Administration Administrator Nuria Fernandez announced the availability of $1.47 billion in competitive grant funds to help bus fleets and facilities modernize. [CleanTechnica]

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March 9 Energy News

March 9, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “No Need To Be Freightened Of Electric Trucks” • Only 10% of vehicles on US roads are medium-to-large trucks, but they are responsible for the majority of hazardous air pollutants and nearly 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Some people have questions about electric trucks, but we can address their concerns. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo electric trucks (Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

¶ “Could The World Survive Without Russian Oil And Gas?” • The US, UK, and EU have announced that they will restrict Russian oil imports. The move came after Russia warned it could cut off gas supplies to European countries if an oil ban were to go ahead. Oil and gas prices have already risen sharply and could rise yet further if Russia halts exports. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Europe Plans To Reduce Russian Gas Imports By 66% This Year” • Europe is planning to reduce consumption of Russian natural gas this year as it prepares for a complete break with its single biggest energy supplier over the war in Ukraine. EU officials outlined a plan to achieve energy independence from Moscow “well before 2030.” [CNN]

Gas meters (Doris Morgan, Unsplash)

¶ “War in Ukraine: Fitch Ratings warns Russian bond default ‘imminent'” • Fitch Ratings has warned Russia is likely to soon default on its debts, as it downgraded the country’s bonds further into “junk” territory, almost to the bottom grade. The warning came after the EU, US, and UK said they will reduce or ban imports of Russian oil or gas. [BBC]

¶ “Climate Change: EU Unveils Plan To End Reliance On Russian Gas” • Moving with a speed few thought possible, the EU laid out a strategy to cut reliance on this fuel source by two thirds within a year. The roadmap starts with finding alternative supplies, and goes to boosting energy efficiency and doubling down on greener sources of power. [BBC]

Wind turbines (Irina Iriser, Pexels)

¶ “Solar Stocks Are Soaring As Oil Price Spike Furthers Bets On Pivot To Renewable Energy” • Shares of renewable energy firms spiked higher Tuesday, highlighting moves by investors to capitalize on shortages of oil and other fossil fuels exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The S&P Global Clean Energy Index rose by 6% intraday. [Business Insider India]

¶ “Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Has Lost Contact With The UN Atomic Watchdog” • The UN’s atomic watchdog said Tuesday that the Chernobyl nuclear plant is no longer transmitting data, as remote data transmission from safeguards monitoring systems has been lost. The IAEA also expressed concern for workers held by Russians at the Ukrainian facility. [The Week]

Chernobyl sarcophagus and reactors (Clay Gilliland, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Russians Are Advancing On Another Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine’s President Says” • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of the Ukraine says Russian forces are advancing toward a third nuclear power plant. It was just last Friday that Russia seized control of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine’s port city of Zaporizhzhia. [NPR]

¶ “Germany Rules Out Prolonging Its Nuclear Power Plants” • Berlin has ruled out extending the lifetime of its existing nuclear fleet, brushing aside energy security concerns after Moscow threatened to halt gas supplies to Germany in retaliation for Western sanctions in the Russia-Ukraine war. Closing the nuclear fleet is too far along to be reversed. [EURACTIV.com]

Grafenrheinfeld nuclear plant (Rainer Lippert, public domain)

US:

¶ “Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Teams Advance As Finalists” • Finalist teams in the DOE’s Solar Decathlon® 2022 Design Challenge have been chosen based on presentations and design submissions at the semifinal competition event. 55 teams representing 38 universities have advanced as finalists based on their unique building designs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “JISEA Sustainable Communities Catalyzer Advances Equitable Renewables Deployment” • Renewable energy development can bolster local economies in numerous ways. The Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to identify where deployment could have the biggest local impact. [CleanTechnica]

Solar powered houses (US DOE image)

¶ “Vice Admiral McGinn: Renewable Energy Will Save Us From Dictators Whose Power Comes From Fossil Fuels” • Vice Admiral Dennis V McGinn wrote a piece for The Hill responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He argued that renewable energy will save us from dictators powered by fossil fuels and called for the US to up its game on renewables. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen Truck Maker Nikola Leads EV Stock Rally As Biden Cuts Off Russian Oil” • Nikola, which aims to replace diesel-fueled semis with trucks powered by batteries and hydrogen, was one of the biggest stock market gainers among EV makers after President Biden said the US was cutting off imports of Russian oil because of its invasion of Ukraine. [Forbes]

Hydrogen-powered Nikola Tre (Anheuser-Busch and Nikola)

¶ “Oregon Energy Department To Offer $12 Million In Grants For Community Solar, Wind Projects” • The Oregon Department of Energy announced $12 million in grants for projects such as adding rural EV charging stations and adding solar panels to public buildings. Money will also go to energy resiliency projects, including microgrids. [Oregon Capital Chronicle]

¶ “Honeywell, Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions Will Help Improve Energy Resiliency In Select U.S. Communities” • Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, a brand of Duke Energy, and Honeywell announced an agreement to develop and deliver comprehensive energy resiliency solutions to targeted markets across the US. [Duke Energy | News Center]

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March 8 Energy News

March 8, 2022

World:

¶ “Amazon Near Tipping Point Of Shifting From Rainforest To Savannah, Study Suggests” • The Amazon rainforest may be nearing a critical tipping point that could see the biologically rich and diverse ecosystem transformed into a grassy savannah. The fate of the rainforest is crucial to the health of the planet for a number of reasons. [CNN]

Amazon rainforest (Neil Palmer, CIAT, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Iran’s Ally Russia May Spoil Nuclear Talks To Keep Oil Price High” • A revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal appeared to be imminent last week. The main parties to the talks indicated that an agreement was close, until an unlikely hurdle emerged. Russia said its national interests would have to be taken into account for a deal to go through. [CNN]

¶ “Bahrain’s First Solar Panel Manufacturer Is Blazing A Trail For Renewables” • Oil provides about 70% of the revenues of the government of Bahrain, but reserves are expected to run out within the next decade. This and the global transition away from dirty fuels mean the kingdom is looking for ways to diversify. This is good news for Solar One. [CNN]

Bahrain (Charles-Adrien Fournier, Unsplash)

¶ “Nicola Sturgeon Says Transition To Renewables Answer To Russian Oil And Gas Dependency” • Scotland’s First Minister said that ramping up the transition to renewable energy is the way to move away from relying on Russian oil and gas. She said to meet global demands in the short-term, North Sea oil and gas may have to ramp up production. [The National]

¶ “War In Ukraine: Russia Says It May Cut Gas Supplies If Oil Ban Goes Ahead” • Russia has said it may close its main gas pipeline to Germany if the West goes ahead with a ban on Russian oil. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said a “rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market.” [BBC]

Working ships (Alexey Druzhinin, Government.ru, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Germany Plugin EV Share 25% In February, Tesla Gigafactory Boosts Hiring” • Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, and the world’s second largest EV market, saw plugins take 24.9% share in February, modestly up from 20.7% year on year. Full electrics share grew 50% year on year. The overall market was up 3%, still well below pre-pandemic sales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Decides To Build New $2.2 Billion EV Factory In Wolfsburg, Realigns Tech Department” • Volkswagen confirmed it will build a new $2.2 billion factory in Wolfsburg, home to its largest factory, to manufacture electric cars. Those vehicles will be built on the company’s new SSP platform developed as part of its Trinity program. [CleanTechnica]

Trinity Concept (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Danish Developer Files Plan For 3-GW Oz Offshore Giant” • Danish developer Copenhagen Energy submitted proposals for a 3-GW offshore wind project off the coast of Western Australia. The Leeuwin Offshore Wind proposal includes the installation of up to 200 wind turbines and associated substation, 15 km to 70 km from the coast. [reNews]

¶ “China Plans A Mammoth 450 GW Of Wind And Solar In Its Deserts” • China’s installed capacity of renewable capacity in 2020 was around 895 GW. This was more capacity than the EU, the USA, and Australia had, combined. According to a report in Reuters, China is now planning to add 450 GW of solar and wind capacity in the Gobi Desert. [New Atlas]

Gobi Desert, Inner Mongolia (me, CC-BY-SA 2.5)

¶ “Rolls-Royce’s Plans For Mini Nuclear Power Stations Take Significant Step Forward” • Rolls-Royce’s hopes for its mini nuclear power stations took a step forward after Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, asked government regulators to assess its designs. Rolls wants to start making the plants in the early 2030s, charging about £1.8 billion for a 470-MW unit. [MSN]

US:

¶ “Biden Administration Rolls Out Some New Regulations And Funding For Cleaner Trucks And Buses” • The US EPA is rolling out more stringent emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles like large trucks and buses. The administration also announced over $1.3 billion in funding to deploy cleaner transportation and school buses. [CNN]

School buses (Dan Dennis, Unsplash)

¶ “US Military To Close Fuel Storage Facility In Hawaii Where Water Was Contaminated By Leak” • The Department of Defense will permanently close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Hawaii, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. The facility was temporarily closed after water was contaminated by a petroleum leak from the facility. [CNN]

¶ “Nature Conservancy To Build Solar Farms At Abandoned Coal Mines In Virginia” • In 2019, the Nature Conservancy acquired 253,000 acres in the central Appalachian Mountains to create what it calls the Cumberland Forest Project. The forest includes several moutaintop removal mines that were abandoned. Some will become solar farms. [CleanTechnica]

Site of proposed solar farm (The Nature Conservancy)

¶ “DE Shaw Inks 200-MW California Solar-Storage Power Play” • US renewables developer DE Shaw Renewable Investments and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, in California, have signed a 200-MW, 400-MWh combined solar and energy storage power purchase agreement. It is the largest facility of its type announced for northern California. [reNews]

¶ “Northern Maine Energy Program Bids Include ConEd Power Line” • ConEd submitted its Maine Power Link proposal to the state Public Utilities Commission last week and plans to propose renewable energy projects that would supply the line, according to a press release. The PUC is to choose projects that should move forward by November. [Bay News 9

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March 7 Energy News

March 7, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Did Shell Change Its Mind About Russia?” • Did Shell Oil Company change its mind about Russia? Well, it’s complicated – at least, according to Shell. Shell was one of three oil companies cutting ties with Russia. But it bought 100,000 metric tons of Russia’s Urals crude from a commodity trader at $28.50 a barrel below the price of Brent crude. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Shell Defends ‘Difficult’ Decision To Buy Russian Crude Oil” • Shell defended a decision to buy Russian crude oil despite the invasion and bombardment of Ukraine, saying in a statement that the decision to purchase the fuel at a discounted price was “difficult.” It confirmed that it had bought a cargo of Russian crude oil but said it had “no alternative.” [BBC]

¶ “Stocks Sink While Oil Soars After US And Allies Consider Banning Russian Oil” • Stocks are tumbling Monday as oil prices are soaring to the highest level in 13 years, raising fears about a further spike in inflation that could damage the global economy. Brent crude also rose to the highest level since 2008, up 8% to $127.66 a barrel. [CNN]

Shell Perdido offshore platform (BSEE, public domain)

¶ “Scatec Partners With ACME Group To Develop A Large-Scale Green Ammonia Facility In Oman” • Scatec ASA signed an agreement with ACME Group from India to create a 50/50 joint venture for a green ammonia facility in Oman. The first phase is expected to produce 100,000 tonnes of green ammonia per year, powered by 500 MW of solar. [GlobeNewswire]

¶ “Ireland Hits New Wind Power Record” • Wind provided 53% of Ireland’s electricity in February 2022, its highest-ever share. Wind energy was also the number one source of electricity for the month and on 5 February set a new All-Ireland record for the amount of wind energy on the system at 4.6 GW, according to a Wind Energy Ireland report. [reNews]

Tythegston Wind Turbines (Steve Barnes, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Australian Start-Up Allows EV Drivers To Charge Their Vehicles With Renewable Energy” • More Australians will be buying an electric vehicle in the years ahead. With incentives, sales of EVs is expected to grow 200% in 2022 from 2021. IonBlue makes it possible to ensure the electricity to power these EVs is sourced from renewable energy. [Tech Guide]

¶ “UK Renewable Energy Projects Should Be Accelerated To Mitigate Impact Of Ukraine Conflict” • Energy experts called for the UK to press on with its push to roll out renewables, with the need to bolster energy security highlighted by the impact of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. EU and UK gas prices have now risen close to the record highs. [New Civil Engineer]

Wind turbines (Sam Forson, Pexels)

¶ “Aston Martin Signs MOU With Britishvolt” • Luxury carmaker Aston Martin has signed an MOU with Britishvolt as it aims to launch its first battery electric vehicle in 2025. Aston Martin is developing alternatives to the internal combustion engine. By 2026, all new Aston Martin product lines will have an electrified powertrain option. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Daintree Rainforest Residents A Step Closer To Getting Power From Solar-To-Hydrogen Microgrid” • The Australian federal government will sign off on a multi-million-dollar deal to bring solar-powered microgrids to townships living among the World Heritage-listed Daintree rainforest in Far North Queensland. The area had been powered mostly by diesel. [ABC]

Daintree microgrid (Volt Advisory Group image)

¶ “World Fears ‘Catastrophic’ Nuclear Disaster As Putin ‘Attacks Neutron Source Facility’ In Ukraine” • There are reports that the Russian military fired missiles at the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology, which houses a nuclear research reactor. Emine Dzheppar, deputy minister for foreign affairs, said destruction of the facility would lead to a “catastrophe.” [Irish Mirror]

¶ “UK To Launch Three ‘Green Inertia’ Schemes” • Three green inertia services, which mimic the effect of a power station but without fossil fuels, will go live by summer in the UK. They are part of a £336 million National Grid ESO investment program to measure and generate green inertia, which is needed to maintain frequency on the grid, keeping it stable. [reNews]

Grid control room (National Grid image)

¶ “IAEA Says It’s Concerned Now That The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant Is Under Russian Command” • The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is under Russian command and the International Atomic Energy Agency is concerned. Former US Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy said Russia, when it shelled the plant, was “extremely irresponsible.” [Business Insider]

US:

¶ “NREL Issues Competitiveness Improvement Project Request For Proposals” • The US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory issued an RFP for the Competitiveness Improvement Project. This is an opportunity for manufacturers of small and medium-sized wind turbines to propose solutions for developing markets for new products. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Thomas Reaubourg, Unsplash)

¶ “Elon Musk Backs More Oil Production And Expanded EU Nuclear Power To Combat Russia ” • Tesla CEO Elon Musk is calling for the expansion of nuclear power in Europe and greater oil production in the US as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spikes prices and lays bare the EU’s energy vulnerabilities. Restarting nuclear plants is not easy, however. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Murphy Calls For Replacing Russian Oil With Renewable Energy In Case Of Potential Ban” • Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy (D) told Fox News Channel’s Shannon Bream that if the US decides to ban Russian energy imports, he would like to see the gap in energy production filled with renewable energy on top of domestic fossil fuel production. [TheHill]

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March 6 Energy News

March 6, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “With Regenerative Agriculture, Guinness Really Is Good For You!” • Regenerative agriculture improves yields by focusing on soil health, and a study indicates that it could also improve the nutritional quality of crops. That’s good news for Guinness beer fans. Guinness has just launched a new regenerative agriculture pilot project in Ireland. [CleanTechnica]

Guinness browing barley (Guinness image)

¶ “Worse Weather And More Floods: The IPCC Report Contains Warnings Australia Should Heed” • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its new report just as Australia was hit by some of the worst floods and heaviest rainfalls in its history. Set against the backdrop of disaster, the report’s findings were both bleak, and shocking. [ABC]

World:

¶ “Hyundai, Kia Reveal Electric Car Roadmap. Is Level 3 Driving Part Of The Plan?” • In its press release, Hyundai CEO Jaehoon Chang said his company plans to release 17 battery-electric car models by 2030. Chang said the company is investing over $16 billion in its electric car endeavors, which include more plants dedicated to producing EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Ionijq 7 (Image courtesy of Hyundai)

¶ “UK Plugin EV Share Doubles To 26% As Tesla Model Y Debuts” • The UK, Europe’s second largest plugin market, saw EV share almost double year on year to 25.6% in February. Full electrics alone took a 17.7% share. Overall auto volume was down 28% over seasonal norms. Debuting in February after a long wait, the Tesla Model Y was the best selling EV. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Indigenous Communities Turning Away From Dirty Forms Of Energy Toward Solar” • After seeing the impact an oil spill had on her home community, Melina Laboucan-Massimo knew she had to do something. The land in Little Buffalo had always been dependent on oil and gas. But she and her team are turning it toward solar energy. [Calgary Journal]

Melina Laboucan-Massimo, a Lubicon Cree and founder of
Sacred Earth Solar (Supplied by the University of Victoria)

¶ “Scotland ‘Could Help End Europe’s Reliance On Russian Oil And Gas'” • A “green industrial revolution” could see renewable energy generated in Scotland cut other countries’ reliance on oil and gas from Russia, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader said. Alex Cole-Hamilton urged ministers in Edinburgh to “maximise” the renewable energy produced. [STV News]

¶ “Montenegro To Introduce Renewable Energy Auctions” • The Ministry of Capital Investments of Montenegro announced that it will conduct auctions to raise the share of solar power plants and wind farms in the country’s energy mix. To do this, it will have technical support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Montenegro (olga brajnovic, Unsplash)

¶ “Government Wants To Boost Renewable Energy Sector, Says Minister” • Punjab Minister for Energy Dr Muhammad Akhtar said that work is under way on projects in the Pakistani province to use alternative energy in line with international standards to tackle climate change and generate cheap electricity to meet local needs. [The News International]

¶ “Scaling Up Of Renewable Energy A Must For Sustainable Growth, Says PM” • India is the world’s third-largest energy consuming country, and in coming years, energy consumption is sure to go up. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a special address, reiterating India’s commitment to climate action and energy transition. [NewsOnAIR]

Wind turbines in India (Vairavamoorthy, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Video Shows Ukrainian Nuclear Plant Workers Pleading With Russians To Stop Shooting” • Video taken from inside Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant during the Russian assault earlier this week shows workers pleading with their attackers over a loudspeaker system to stop in order to avoid catastrophe. The message is punctuated by gunfire. [HuffPost]

US:

¶ “Shock! Awe! Americans Willing To Pay Higher Gas Prices To Defeat Putin” • Americans want low energy prices, but in a poll conducted last week by Reuters, 80% of respondents including solid majorities of Republicans and Democrats said they support the idea of not importing any oil from Russia, even if that leads to higher gas prices at the pump. [CleanTechnica]

Gas prices by state (AAA image)

¶ “Panasonic Planning Massive Electric Car Battery Factory In US” • Japanese news outlet NHK reports that Panasonic is looking for land in Oklahoma or Kansas to build a massive US battery factory that will manufacture 4680 battery cells for Tesla (and maybe others?) According to Reuters, the factory will cost several billion dollars to build. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Schenectady-Based DSD On Sharp Growth Path As Green Energy Expands” • Less than three years after its creation, GE spinoff DSD Renewables has nearly tripled its workforce as it adds solar electricity to the power grid and to its customers’ facilities. DSD’s headquarters at Mohawk Harbor hosts a small part of its nearly 170 employees. [The Daily Gazette]

Rotterdam solar array by DSD Renewables (Photo provided)

¶ “World’s Largest Green Hydrogen Project Unveiled In Texas, With Plan To Produce Clean Rocket Fuel For Elon Musk” • US start-up Green Hydrogen International announced a 60-GW rH₂ project in South Texas, to be powered by wind and solar, with its own salt cavern for storage and a plan to produce clean rocket fuel for Elon Musk’s SpaceX. [Recharge News]

¶ “Grid Operators’ ‘Seam’ Study Paves Way For Renewable Expansion” • A joint study by two regional grid operators with territories that span a wide swath of the central US reveals how strategically sited transmission projects along their boundaries could enable a wave of new renewable energy capacity that may not otherwise get built. [Energy News Network]

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March 5 Energy News

March 5, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Big Oil Profits Should Support The Green Transition In Europe” • Europe’s current energy crisis has led to a 54% increase in petrol, gas and electricity prices for its households compared to 2020 levels. BP had a profit of $12.8 billion, Shell’s profits were $19.3 billion, and Total Energies’ were $16 billion. Can Europe act to level the playing field? [CleanTechnica]

Shell charging hub (Shell image)

World:

¶ “Ukraine Sanctions: UK Dockers Refuse Tanker Of Russian Gas” • Dockers in Kent have refused to unload two tankers of Russian gas, forcing them to go elsewhere, a union has said. Unison head of energy Matt Lay said staff were “determined to support the Ukrainian people and uphold the sanctions imposed against Russia.” [BBC]

¶ “Turn Down The Heat To Stop Putin? Europe Wrestles With Its Russian Gas Addiction” • You may not think much about where the energy that heats your home comes from, let alone where the money you pay for it goes. For many Europeans, there’s a good chance that money is flowing to the Russian state – much of it into Putin’s war chest. [CNN]

Russian tank (Kevin Schmid, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Model Y Orders Now Available For ‘Other Europe,’ Giga Berlin Gets Approved” • Tesla Giga Berlin has its environmental approval, according to a press release and news conference. And Tesla fans and customers are reporting that the Model Y can be ordered for some parts of “Other Europe,” including Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Honda And Sony Will Build Electric Cars Together” • Honda and Sony signed a memorandum of understanding to form a new company to manufacture electric cars together, The Verge reports. The first cars are to go on sale in 2025, which is pretty quick, given that new car design and production typically takes five to seven years. [CleanTechnica]

Sony test car

¶ “China To Boost Coal Output, Reserves To Ensure Power Supply – NDRC” • China will boost the production of more modern coal mines and enhance coal reserve capacity, and aims to increase the government-deployable storage to 5% of local consumption, the country’s National Development and Reform Commission said. [Reuters]

¶ “Sweden Plugin EV Share 52% In February, Kia Niro Leads” • Sweden’s plugin EV share hit 51.6% in February 2022, up from 34.8% year on year. Full electrics took 25.6% share, dramatic growth from 6.1% year on year. Overall auto market volumes were down 7% from the last two years. The Kia Niro was Sweden’s best selling EV in February. [CleanTechnica]

Kia Niro EV (Hyundai Motor Group, Unsplash)

¶ “Russian Attacks Spur Debate About Nuclear Power As Climate Fix” • Russian forces seized the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine after heavy fighting sparked a huge blaze. Russia’s action should spur companies and policymakers to be more careful in plans to build reactors to fight climate change, nuclear safety experts said. [CNBC Tv18]

¶ “Himachal Aspires To Be Country’s First ‘Green State’” • With an aim to become the first green state in India, Himachal chief minister, Jai Ram Thakur, announced in his budget presentation that his government will make efforts to ensure that 100% of its energy requirement is met through renewable energy, with a goal of 50% by 2030. [Hindustan Times]

Himachal Pradesh landscape (Satyadeep Karnati, Unsplash)

¶ “Security Council Debates Russian Strike On Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant” • Heavy fighting at a nuclear power in Ukraine is unacceptable and “highly irresponsible,” the UN’s senior political affairs official told the Security Council during an emergency meeting. She said that radiation levels are normal and the plant’s cooling system was not affected. [UN News]

US:

¶ “Lake Powell Is About To Drop Below A Critical Level Never Reached Before, As Drought Rages On” • Lake Powell, the country’s second-largest reservoir, is projected to dip past a critical threshold, threatening water supplies and putting a key source of hydropower generation at heightened risk of being forced offline, as the drought continues. [CNN]

Lake Powell dam (Luca Bravo, Unsplash)

¶ “Light-Duty Plug-In EV Sales In The US Nearly Doubled From 2020 To 2021” • Sales of new light-duty plug-in EVs, including all-electric EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs, nearly doubled from 308,000 in 2020 to 608,000 in 2021. Such rapid growth in EVs is remarkable, as overall light-duty vehicle sales increased by only 3% during the same period. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Small City Sets Example For Floating Solar, Empowered By NREL Data Set” • Two city employees of Cohoes, New York, were brainstorming how to power the city’s municipal buildings with renewable energy. Few options made sense as the city didn’t have a lot of cash or land. Then one of them thought of floating solar on the city reservoir. [CleanTechnica]

Cohoes municipal reservoir (Image from Google Earth)

¶ “Latest Climate Report Describes Devastating Impacts In Store For Southwestern US” • Climate change is causing widespread and irreversible impacts to nature and humanity far faster than scientists had anticipated, and the Southwestern US will be hit especially hard, according to a major new scientific report that the IPCC released this week. [Nevada Current]

¶ “Meijer Makes Headway Toward Sustainability Goals With New Solar Power Project” • Meijer, Inc, based in Grand Rapids, signed a renewable energy PPA with Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions for a solar project to help the retailer reach a goal it had already established, which is to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 50% by 2025. [Winsight Grocery Business]

Have a conspicuously peachy day.

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March 4 Energy News

March 4, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Big Auto Had The Ultimate Barriers To Entry – Then Tesla Broke Through” • Conventional wisdom once held that it would be practically impossible for a startup company to challenge the Big Auto behemoths. When economics professors explained the concept of barriers to entry, the auto industry was usually example #1. Then Tesla came along. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model S (Tesla Fans Schweiz, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia’s Attack On Ukraine Is A Clear Warning To Us To Become Energy Independent With Renewables” • America and its allies have been thrust into yet another conflict linked to the world’s addiction to fossil fuels. If we heed the warning and decisively act now, it could be the last such global conflict. It would also address climate change. [The Hill]

World:

¶ “Ukraine conflict: Shares fall after nuclear plant attack” • Share prices fell after a fire broke out at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, after Russia troops shelled it. London’s FTSE 100 share index opened down 0.6%. Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 2.2%. Some investor concerns were eased after officials said the plant’s safety was “secured.” [BBC]

Zaporizhzhia reactors 1 and 2 (DENAMAX, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Ukraine Nuclear Plant: Russia In Control After Shelling” • Russia has taken control of a nuclear power station in Ukraine after it was hit by shelling. A fire broke out at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – the largest in Europe – and Ukraine said it was shelled by Russian troops. Authorities say the facility is now safe and radiation levels are normal. [BBC]

¶ “End Imports Of Russian Oil To Stop Financing Putin’s War” • The EU should embargo all oil and gas imports from Russia in order to stop financing Putin’s war on Ukraine, 25 European NGOs say in a public appeal to leaders. The coalition is also demanding that the country of origin for oil products be made clear at petrol stations. [CleanTechnica]

Russian gas facility (Government of Russia, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Ukraine War Prompts European Reappraisal Of Its Energy Supplies” • Vladimir Putin is using Russia’s hold over fossil fuel supplies to Europe as “a political and economic weapon,” the executive director of the International Energy Agency said. EU governments have to deal with a threat to democracy while they head off climate disaster. [The Guardian]

¶ “Duterte OKs Use Of Nuclear Energy” • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order adopting a nuclear energy program. It recommends reviving the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, among other measures. Released by Malacañang, EO 64 sets the government’s course to harnessing nuclear power as a source of electricity. [The Manila Times]

Rodrigo Duterte (Simeon Celi Jr, Philippine Government)

¶ “South Korea’s Moon Orders Protection Of Nuclear Power Plant Amid Wildfire” • South Korea President Moon Jae-in has ordered an all-out effort to be made to protect the Hanul Nuclear Power Plant from a wildfire that broke out in the eastern coastal county of Uljin, according to a statement from the presidential office. [CNA]

Australia:

¶ “Castles & Cars – Cash Savings In The Suburbs” • Rewiring Australia just issued a report, with support from Mike Cannon-Brookes, that makes the case for electrifying everything in the Aussie home. Castles & Cars extends that even to transport. There are savings to be made in the suburbs if we electrify our castles and our cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mike Cannon-Brookes Tries To Buy And Shut Down Worst Coal Plant In Australia” • Mike Cannon-Brookes, founder of Atlassian, teamed up with Canadian asset manager Brookfield to put in a bid for Australia’s most polluting power company. Green capital is trying to push out the old legacy coal barons, in a case of “if you can’t beat them, buy them.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Victoria Sets 9-GW Offshore Wind Goal In Australia” • The Australian state of Victoria plans to have 9 GW of offshore wind capacity installed of its coast by 2040. The Labor Government of the state has published the “Victorian Offshore Wind Policy Directions Paper”, which also set interim targets of 2 GW by 2032 and 4 GW by 2035. [reNews]

Offshore windpower (Stig Nygaard, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “President Biden Ignored Tesla’s $10 Billion Investment In EVs During SOTU” • President Biden, when he highlighted the EV transition and auto manufacturing in the US during his 2022 State of the Union address, once again ignored the contributions made by Tesla, which include a $10 billion investment in Texas toward EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Climate Math Of Home Heating Electrification” • UC Davis researchers published a study in Energy Policy showing that a typical US home can cut its heating-related climate pollution by 45% to 72% by swapping out a gas-fired furnace for an efficient, all-electric heat pump. And it’s true right now, today, in every region in the country. [CleanTechnica]

Electric heat (Nate the House Whisperer, via Electrify Now)

¶ “TotalEnergies Seeks Foot In California Offshore Wind Door” • The windy waters of the California coast have tantalized offshore wind developers for years, and now the door is opening. Among those vying for a slot is the French firm TotalEnergies. The global energy producer’s continuing interest in Russian fossil fuels could be a stumbling block. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “South Brooklyn Marine Terminal To Turn Into Renewable Energy Hub Off Sunset Park” • Mayor Eric Adams announced that the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal will be transformed into a port facility for offshore wind energy. The project will turn the space into an operations and maintenance hub for offshore wind farms. [Brooklyn Paper]

Have a comprehensively hopeful day.

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March 3 Energy News

March 3, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “The State Of The Union Address About Climate We Wish We Had Heard” • As President Biden delivered the 2022 State of the Union address, many of us summoned our inner speechwriter selves and imagined a different presentation that more precisely confronted the looming climate crisis. So here is that wishful 2022 State of the Union address. [CleanTechnica]

Glacier National Park (Andrew S, Unsplash)

¶ “Could the Ukraine conflict cause one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters?” • The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency said on March 2, “The situation in Ukraine is unprecedented … It is the first time a military conflict is happening amidst the facilities of a large, established nuclear power program.” [Renew Economy]

¶ “Heat Pumps For Freedom, And Other Thoughts From Bill McKibben” • Bill McKibben has a blog called The Crucial Years. His latest post, dated February 27, is entitled “Heat Pumps For Peace And Freedom.” It is worth going there and reading it (link provided in the article). Bill McKibben says heat pumps could help defeat Vladimir Putin. [CleanTechnica]

Heat pump technician (Photo courtesy of The Heat Pump Store)

World:

¶ “Oil-Producing Nations Stick To Their Plan Despite Ukraine” • Even though oil prices have surged to seven-year highs, a cartel of oil-producing countries say they will increase their output only by a modest amount. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, known as Opec+, will not be turning on the taps. [BBC]

¶ “UN Agrees To Create World’s First-Ever Plastics Pollution Treaty In A Blow To Big Oil” • The UN approved an agreement to create the world’s first global plastic pollution treaty, describing it as the most significant environmental deal since the 2015 Paris climate accord. Member states agreed on the outline of a pact to rein in soaring plastic pollution. [CNN]

Plastic on a beach (Thobias Löfqvist, Unsplash)

¶ “Oil Price Rises Again As Buyers Shun Russian Crude” • The cost of oil continue their surge, as traders snap up non-Russian oil. Brent crude – the global benchmark for oil prices – passed $113 a barrel, its highest level since June 2014. But traders are struggling to sell Russian oil, even at a discount. Gas prices also doubled, which could raise energy bills. [BBC]

¶ “100% Electric Vehicles Are 10% Of New Car Sales In Europe In January” • The European passenger plug-in vehicle market scored 156,000 registrations in January (+39% year over year), with battery EVs (+78%) growing significantly faster than plugin hybrid EVs (+11%). The overall market (-2%) is languishing in the worst January in 30 years. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a BMW (Eren Goldman, Unsplash)

¶ “Largest Australian Renewable Energy Deal To Power Critical Infrastructure, Reducing Costs And Emissions ” • IFM Investors and QIC, two of Australia’s largest infrastructure fund managers, have jointly led a new renewable energy program to help reduce electricity costs and greenhouse gas emissions at key Australian infrastructure facilities. [Mirage News]

¶ “North East renewable energy projects await greenlight from council” • Dozens of ‘much needed’ North East renewable energy projects could be created if a county council’s local plan gets the green light later this month. The Northumberland Local Plan is expected to be adopted, laying out a range of proposals and planning policies. [Bdaily]

Wind turbines (Thomas Reaubourg, Unsplash)

¶ “Russian troops take control of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine” • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi has been notified that the Russian military has taken control of the area around Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. With six reactors, it is the largest nuclear plant in Europe. [Power Technology]

US:

¶ “Stellantis Takes The Wraps Off Its First Battery-Electric Jeep” • The first battery-electric Jeep should appeal to lots of people. Shown yesterday in brilliant yellow, it is an emotional vehicle that should have customers banging on the door to get one. Unfortunately, when the company showed off how the Jeep EV looks, it gave us few details. [CleanTechnica]

Jeep EV (Courtesy of Jeep)

¶ “All New Jeep, Chrysler, Ram Products Will Be Electric From 2026” • The big news from Stellantis’ (née Chrysler) big press conference wasn’t really the first-ever, all-new, all-electric Jeep model. It was an unsaid statistic that every new Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram truck offering will be available as a battery-electric model from 2026. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Elon Musk’s Taxes Were Just About Enough To Cover GM’s Bailout” • Earlier this century, the US government bailed out GM. Last December, the Treasury Department sold the last remaining shares it had acquired from that, and Reuters reported that it lost $11.2 billion overall. In 2021, Elon Musk paid over $11 billion in taxes due to selling Tesla shares. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk, 2019 (Bill Ingalls, NASA)

¶ “Eco Wave Moves Pilot To Los Angeles” • Eco Wave Power Global is to relocate its energy conversion unit from the pilot site in Gibraltar to AltaSea’s premises in the Port of Los Angeles as it seeks to scale-up. Eco Wave Power’s increasing interest in the US market, emphasized by the company’s recent listing on Nasdaq Capital Market. [reNews]

¶ “Oyster Creek Generating Station Eyed as Small Nuclear Reactor Site” • Holtec International said it remains open to the possibility of making the decommissioning Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station the site of its first SMR-160, going so far as to designate it one of several reference sites for the small modular nuclear reactor. [The SandPaper]

Have an enchantingly pleasing day.

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March 2 Energy News

March 2, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Five Takeaways From The UN’s Climate Report” • The UN’s climate science panel issued a report detailing both the impacts of climate change and potential adaptation measures society can take to mitigate the damage. The report warned of dire impacts from global warming. Here are five major takeaways from the newest report. [TheHill]

One cost of climate change (Mike Newbry, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Ukraine Conflict: ExxonMobil And Boeing Take Action Over Russia Ties” • ExxonMobil said it will exit a multi-billion dollar joint venture with Russian state-owned company Rosneft. It is the latest oil producer to cut business ties with the country, after similar moves by BP, Shell and Equinor. And Boeing said it is suspending operations in Russia. [BBC]

¶ “The Rise And Rise Of The Chinese EV Market – 17% Market Share In January” • In China, after the December sales peak, one would expect a sales hangover in January, only … it didn’t happen. The market had 372,000 new passenger EV registrations, for an impressive 115% jump year over year! Plugin vehicles had 17% of the market, up from 15% last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canada Provides $4.8 Billion In Annual Subsidies To Fossil Fuel Interests” • The Canada Climate Law Initiative published a report, Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Canada: Governance Implications in the Net-Zero Transition. One thing it describes is the impacts that various entities in Canada have had on sustaining fossil fuels through annual subsidies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Car Of The Year In Europe 2022 Is Yet Again An EV, The Kia EV6” • The Kia EV6 won the Car of the Year 2022 award. The Korean EV won in a field with 6 out of 7 cars were pure electrics. It is the first time that the Korean carmaker has won the title. This is the 59th time that a jury of European car journalists made the Car of the Year award. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Acciona’s 923-MW Project Passes Environmental Test” • Acciona Energía has received environmental approval for the 932-MW MacIntyre Wind Farm, which will be the developer’s largest wind farm in Australia. Due to begin construction in Q2 2022, the site marks a major milestone in Queensland’s goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030. [reNews]

¶ “Isko: ‘Bataan Nuclear Power Plant not safe for people, Bataan'” • Manila Mayor Isko Moreno campaigned in Bataan province, where he expressed opposition to reopening the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. The presidential candidate told reporters he would keep the Bataan facility in Morong town closed if he’s elected president. [Politiko]

Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (Jiru27, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “Even Before Ukraine Crisis, Majority Of Americans Wanted Country To Prioritize Renewable Energy Development, Poll Shows” • A survey of 10,237 US adults, conducted weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, shows 69% of American adults favor developing alternative energy, including wind and solar, over increasing production of fossil fuels. [CNN]

¶ “Barring A ‘Miracle,’ California Snowpack Will End The Season Below Average” • Winter is California’s wet season, but a snow survey is discouraging and an ominous record is being set for lack of precipitation in Sacramento. Statewide snow melt forecast is only about 66% of average. California reservoirs will likely not fill up again this year. [CNN]

California snow (Denys Nevozhai, Unsplash)

¶ “US Army Beats US Postal Service To Electric Vehicle Punch” • The US Postmaster General has blown off the EV revolution, but the US Army can show him how it’s done. The Army launched a net zero goal and the Army Reserve already has an electrification plan for its non-tactical vehicles with a zero emission goal by the end of FY 27. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Waymo To Start Charging Robotaxi Passengers In San Francisco” • After years operating only in a corner of Phoenix, Waymo branched out to San Francisco in 2021. It is hasn’t been charging for its robotaxi service there, but that’s about to change. Waymo will charge riders in the San Francisco area real-life money to get a ride. [CleanTechnica]

Waymo EV (Waymo image)

¶ “Elon Musk’s $5 Billion Tesla Stock Donation To Charity” • A recent Tesla filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that the company’s CEO Elon Musk made donations totaling more than $5 billion worth of Tesla stock to charity. The Ownership Disclosure filing was published earlier this month on the SEC website. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SB Energy Places 1.5-GW PV Order With First Solar” • SB Energy Global, a subsidiary of SoftBank Group, has placed a multi-year order for 1500-MW of First Solar’s advanced, ultra-low carbon thin-film photovoltaic solar modules. SB Energy will deploy these PV modules across its 4-GW US solar and storage development pipeline. [reNews]

Solar panels (First Solar image)

¶ “Coal Producer Launches 4.9-GW Renewables Plan” • Coal producer Peabody has launched R3 Renewables to pursue the development of over 3300 MW of solar PV and 1600 MW of battery storage capacity over the next five years. R3 Renewables is a Joint Venture with Riverstone Credit Partners and Summit Partners Credit Advisors. [reNews]

¶ “US Nuclear Power Industry Pushing White House Against Ban On Russian Uranium” • Reuters reports that the US nuclear power industry is lobbying the Biden administration to permit continued import of uranium from Russia despite the invasion of Ukraine, citing the cheap supply of the fuel as key to keeping US electricity prices low. [Press TV]

Have an abundantly delightful day.

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March 1 Energy News

March 1, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Bury It? Shoot It Into Space? Why Scientists Still Can’t Find A Place For Nuclear Waste” • Climate change is more urgent and leaves us with fewer options daily. This might make it tempting to rush to nuclear energy as a quick, low-carbon fix. But its faults are numerous, not least of which is that there is still no answer to the 80-year-old question of waste. [CNN]

Nuclear danger (Dan Meyers, Unsplash)

¶ “What If Moscow Turns Off The Gas As The Ukraine Conflict Deepens?” • If Russia halts its supply of gas to Europe to retaliate against the punishing sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine, the region should still be able to make it through next winter, according to Bruegel, a think tank based in Brussels. But it won’t be easy or cheap. [CNN]

¶ “Fight Back Against The Fossil Fuels Autocrats: Electrify And Decarbonize!” • From Venezuela to Nigeria to Saudi Arabia to most blatantly Russia, we’ve witnessed how the dynamics of fossil fuel dependency harm both the countries that possess them and other countries that are held hostage to the whims of despotic leaders. It’s time to fight back. [CleanTechnica]

Climate demonstration (Tom Seger, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Delay Means Death’: We’re Running Out Of Ways To Adapt To The Climate Crisis, New Report Shows” • Climate change is on course to transform life on Earth as we know it. Unless it is dramatically slowed, billions of people and other species will reach points where they can no longer adapt to the new normal, according to a major report. [CNN]

¶ “Novel Australian Project Examines If Renewable Energy Machines Can Be Used To Protect Coastlines” • What can wave energy converters do that no other form of renewable energy can? Well, they can remove waves’ energy. For a country where coastlines are ever more frequently battered by extreme weather, this is especially attractive. [pv magazine Australia]

Wave (Mark Harpur, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Canada To Ban Imports Of Crude Oil From Russia” • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a ban on Russian oil imports following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. He said oil revenues have helped to prop up President Vladimir Putin and Russian oligarchs. Coordinated Western sanctions against Russia have targeted its banks. [BBC]

¶ “Shell Follows BP Out Of Russia As UK Oil Companies Abandon Putin” • Shell is getting out of Russia. The company said it would dump its 27.5% stake in the Sakhalin-2 liquified natural gas facility, its 50% stake in a project to develop the Salym fields in western Siberia and its 50% interest in an exploration project in the Gydan peninsula in Siberia. [CNN]

Tanker (Alexandr Popadin, Unsplash)

¶ “IPCC 6 Shows A ‘Criminal Abdication Of Leadership,’ Says UN Secretary General” • Bloomberg Green reports that UN Secretary General António Guterres said about the IPPC report, “With fact upon fact, this report reveals how people and the planet are getting clobbered by climate change.” He calls it an indictment of a “criminal abdication of leadership.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Plans Emerge For Another Renewable Energy Island To Power Europe” • The energy ministers from the UK and Belgium signed a memorandum of understanding, in which the two countries may work together to build another renewable energy island in the North Sea. The countries are already connected by the 1-GW Nemo Link interconnector. [Renew Economy]

Danish energy island (Danish Energy Agency image)

¶ “‘Putin Is Ready For Anything,’ Says Ukraine’s Ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko” • A former Ukrainian prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, warned, “If Putin’s army intends to bomb our nuclear power plants, it will undoubtedly be a tragedy for the entire continent.” The Ukrainian nuclear fleet has of four power plants, with a total of fifteen reactors. [France 24]

US:

¶ “Volvo Previews Its Future Electric Car Plans To Dealers” • At a conference in Miami last week, Volvo shared its plans for future electric cars with its North American dealers. Citing a report by Automotive News, CarBuzz says company executives told their audience about plans to launch seven electrified models in the coming few years. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo Recharge Concept (Image courtesy of Volvo Cars)

¶ “Unlimited EV Charging As Low As $19.99 Per Month!” • A new flat fee proposal for EV charging in the US could help convince more drivers to ditch their gasmobiles and go electric sooner rather than later. If all goes according to plan, the result would be less dependence on fossil fuels, and less of the really destructive baggage that goes with it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nissan Will Spend $500 Million On Mississippi Factory For EV Production” • Nissan said in a press release that it will spend $500 million to make a factory in Mississippi ready to produce EVs. The company plans to make 40% of its US sales battery EVs by 2030. The Canton, Mississippi, factory has been in operation for almost two decades. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan EVs (Nissan image)

¶ “Meta Plans Renewable-Powered Data Center In Idaho” • Meta, the parent company of Facebook, will invest $800 million in a data center being developed in Kuna, Idaho, southwest of Boise. The data center is planned to receive 100% of its electricity from renewable energy through an arrangement with the local utility, Idaho Power. [Argus Media]

¶ “Several Renewable Energy Projects Are Proposed In The Magic Valley” • A wind farm proposed for the Magic Valley would be Idaho’s largest, but it’s not the only renewable energy project developers want to build in the region. In the past year and a half, they submitted several proposals for solar and wind energy in south central Idaho. [Boise State Public Radio]

Have a prosperously fulfilling day.

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February 28 Energy News

February 28, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Interview: Tony Seba On The Cleantech Revolution” • Zachary Shahan sat down rwith the famous and widely loved Tony Seba to talk about the revolutions underway in energy (clean energy is taking over the energy world), transportation (the EV revolution is rolling fast now), and food. You can listen to the interview on CleanTechnica Pro. [CleanTechnica]

Tony Seba in 2020 (NCDOTcommunications, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Elon Musk Responds To Ukraine Plea For Support – And How You Can Help Ukraine” • Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister, issued a plea to Elon Musk on Twitter, shared on the Ukraine’s official Twitter account. He specifically asked for Starlink support. Elon made service active in Ukraine, and more terminals are on the way. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Time To Stand Up For The People Of Ukraine: Locking Future Generations Into Fossil Fuels Won’t Help” • In recent days, the oil and gas industry and its apologists have sought to exploit the Russian invasion of Ukraine by pushing for policies that would lock future generations into decades of more dependence on fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Refinery (Dimitry Anikin, Unsplash)

¶ “Ukraine invasion: Putin has raised the abhorrent specter of a nuclear option. Could it be a sign of desperation?” • Unlike UK and US nuclear weapons policy, Russia’s nuclear doctrine allows for smaller, tactical nuclear warheads to be threatened in a conventional conflict, in the hope that the other side capitulates in fear. [Sky News]

¶ “Russia’s War On The Ukraine Will Hasten The Drive For Clean Energy Security” • Russia is a huge exporter of oil and gas. But waging war on Ukraine will change its energy trade. It will be a short-term boost to other energy exporters, but the bigger effect will be a fundamental re-think on energy security which will accelerate decarbonization. [Lowy Institute]

Wind turbines (Waldemar Brandt, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “BP To Offload Stake In Rosneft Amid Ukraine Conflict” • BP is to offload its 19.75% stake in Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft after Russia’s “act of aggression in Ukraine.” The oil giant had come under pressure from the UK government to make the move since Thursday’s invasion. The Norwegian energy giant Equinor is also divesting. [BBC]

¶ “Forrest Mulls Massive 2-GWh Battery As Part Of Queensland Wind And Solar Hub” • Iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest has unveiled plans for a $3 billion wind, solar, and battery storage hub in central Queensland in a moved that he says will create the biggest renewable energy precinct in the south hemisphere. It will start with a 450-MW wind stage. [Renew Economy]

Atherton Tableland, Queensland (Frances76, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Japan Excellent Announces Use Of 100% Renewable Energy Operation Of Omori Bellport D” • From March 2022, all of the electricity for the Omori Bellport D apartment building in Tokyo, owned by Japan Excellent Inc, will come from renewable energy. CO₂ emissions from electricity for the 18-story building will be reduced to zero. [MarketScreener]

¶ “25 NSW Councils Go Green In Landmark Renewable Energy Deal” • In New South Wales a landmark deal was announced that will see 25 councils supplied by three NSW solar farms. The $180 million agreement, brokered by the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, is set to deliver over 214 GWh per year to participating councils. [Energy Matters]

Solar PV (Biel Morro, Unsplash)

¶ “Germany Aims To Get 100% Of Energy From Renewable Sources By 2035” • Germany aims to fulfil all its electricity needs with supplies from renewable sources by 2035, compared to its previous target to abandon fossil fuels “well before 2040,” according to a government draft paper that has been obtained by Reuters. [Reuters]

¶ “Germany Considers Keeping Nuclear Power Plants Online” • Amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, the German government is examining every option to keep the country warm and reduce its energy dependence on Russia. Keeping nuclear power plants online is being reviewed. But it may be an unlikely resource, as plant owners make clear. [EURACTIV.com]

Grafenrheinfeld Nuclear, now closed (ChNPP, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “National Community Solar Partnership Aims To Reach 5 Million And Beyond” • The US DOE hosted the second National Community Solar Partnership Annual Summit in January. With stakeholder feedback and market analysis, the NCSP developed a roadmap to address persistent barriers affecting community solar across the country. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ranking Heat Waves Like Hurricanes Is Being Proposed In California” • New legislation in California hopes to reduce heat-related deaths by ranking heat waves similarly to hurricanes, by using categories and names. However, the National Weather Service (NWS) is currently in a multiyear experiment to also categorize heat waves. [CNN]

Heat wave (Raimond Klavins, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewables Provide 21% Of US Electricity In 2021” • With strong growth in solar and wind power, electrical generation by renewable energy sources provided 21.02% of total US electrical generation in 2021, which exceeds US Energy Information Administration forecasts, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of EIA data. [Renewables Now]

¶ “North Carolina Power Plant Wants To Reopen. Residents Have Other Ideas” • Under its initial May 2015 permit, NC Renewable Power was allowed to burn chicken litter and emit up to 250 tons of waste each year. After being shut down for two years, the owners want to reopen it with a new permit and monitoring technology. [Greensboro News and Record]

Have a thoroughly enchanting day.

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February 27 Energy News

February 27, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “The Supreme Court is hearing a major case on EPA’s authority over planet-warming gases. Here’s what’s at stake” • The US Environmental Protection Agency is going before the Supreme Court in a case that could deal a significant blow to the federal government’s ability to fight the climate crisis and prevent its worst outcomes. [CNN]

Supreme Court building (Farragutful, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “IPCC Report: How Prepared Is Ireland For Inevitable Climate Shocks?” • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will issue its verdict on the scale of needed adaptation and resilience for climate change. In a major departure, it will identify the options needed to adapt to living with those consequences, not to stop those consequences happening. [The Irish Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Gas Cars Produce More Supply Chain Emissions Than EVs – Yale University Study” • EVs offer lower emissions on the road, but some skeptics criticize the mining, manufacturing, and charging practices. A study shows how minuscule the lifespan emissions of EVs are, especially when compared to those of fossil fuel vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Conventional car in race (Ian Gulinao, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

World:

¶ “Right-Hand-Drive Electric Vehicle Markets – Projections” • Although the current EV market appears to concentrate on the left-hand-drive markets of the USA, Europe, and China, a lot of earth’s citizens live in right-hand-drive markets. Here is a set of projections for the right-hand-drive EV markets, from Rethink Energy’s lead analyst, Peter White. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renault Driving On Hydrogen ICE With New Concept Car” • Renault knows how to amaze its public. It is famous for the most original and creative concept cars. Now Renault is looking at a hydrogen ICE (internal combustion engine) for a new concept car. This car has to be on the top of the list of most original surprises. [CleanTechnica]

Renault concept car

¶ “Serbian Companies To Have More Active Role On Electricity Market In The Coming Years – Conference” • Serbia provided a framework for financing renewable power plants and selling of their output by adopting a set of energy laws last year. Those buying the electricity can now use all the possibilities, panelists at a conference said. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “HCM City Hopes For Stronger Cooperation With US In Renewable Energy Development” • Ho Chi Minh City hopes to strengthen cooperation with partners in climate change response and renewable energy development, Secretary of the city Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen told US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. [Vietnam Plus]

Ho Chi Minh City (Lieu Cap, Unsplash)

¶ “415 Solar Power Systems Go Operational Across Iran” • Some 415 new solar systems with a total capacity of 2.4 MW have gone operational across Iran over the past two months, the spokesman of the country’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization announced. Many are used to provide for deprived households in rural areas. [Tehran Times]

¶ “Forrest Outlines Plans For $3 Billion Wind, Solar And Battery Hub In Queensland” • Iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest has unveiled plans for a $3 billion wind, solar, and battery storage hub in central Queensland. He said the proposed project would create the biggest renewable energy precinct in the Southern Hemisphere. [Renew Economy]

Farm in Queensland (Carnaby Gilany, Unsplash)

¶ “Green Hydrogen Policy – Another Positive Step Towards India’s Energy Security” • The Government of India announced the first phase of its Green Hydrogen Policy as a step towards its National Hydrogen Mission. The mission’s goal is to help meet a climate target of five million metric tonnes per year of green hydrogen by 2030. [Power Technology]

¶ “Russian Military Threatens Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant” • The Russian military is threatening a nuclear power plant in Ukraine amid the ongoing invasion in the country. Russia’s military presence has increased near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs has reported. [TheHill]

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (Ralf1969, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “Tesla Is Closer To Delivering Its Giga Texas Model Ys” • Tesla is closer to delivering Model Y cars made at its Giga Texas factory, as EPA certification is expected soon. Tesla has produced several Model Y all-electric crossovers at Giga Texas, and the EPA told Teslarati that once it approves the Texas-made Model Y, Tesla will be able to begin deliveries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Best Electric Vehicle Of 2022 Is Tesla Model Y, Cars.Com Concludes” • Cars.com has named the Tesla Model Y the best EV in its “Best of 2022” awards. The car-buying marketplace stated, “As more automakers bet on an electric future, consumers are starting to pay attention to the once-outlying rogue tech of automotive.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Image courtesy of Tesla)

¶ “Number-Two US Grid To Boom As Wind Trumps Solar To Oust Midwest Coal Power: S&P” • A wave of coal retirements and higher natural gas prices will drive over 73 GW of onshore wind and 13 GW of utility-scale solar build over the next decade for Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which manages the second-largest US electric power market. [Recharge News]

¶ “Renewable Energy Needs Storage – Here’s One Company Charging Up Solar Power” • The CEO of North Carolina-based POWERHOME Solar, a specialist in solar panels and batteries, talked with TAG24. Jayson Waller said his company hired 1,500 people during the pandemic, switched to more costly US-made solar panels, and increased sales. [TAG24.com]

Have a sustainably cheerful day.

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February 26 Energy News

February 26, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “This Is How We Defeat Putin And Other Petrostate Autocrats” • Along with its military machine, control of oil and gas supplies is Russia’s main weapon. Now is the time to remind ourselves that the costs of solar and windpower have dropped by an order of magnitude in the last decade. We have a way to reduce Putin’s power: Get off oil and gas. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines (Karyatid, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine Adds Urgency To Europe’s Green Power Transition” • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is expected to add more urgency to Europe’s efforts to break its dependence on Russian oil and gas, as well as compel Europe to accelerate its transition to clean energy, say experts and EU officials. But those effortswon’t come easily. [Scientific American]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla HEPA Filters: Can A Tesla Really Protect Your Lungs?” • EVs reduce pollution for everyone, but Tesla’s cars can go further to reduce pollution in its cabins. Tesla recently showed how safe the cabins of its cars can be when using the company’s so-called Bioweapon Defense Mode with HEPA filters when “under attack” by dense red smoke. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla testing HEPA filter (Tesla image)

World:

¶ “Airbus To Test Hydrogen-Fueled Engine On A380 Jet” • Airbus just moved one step closer to launching the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2035. The French aircraft maker has announced plans to test hydrogen fuel technology using a modified A380 jetliner. It will be fitted with a special engine and liquid hydrogen tanks. [CNN]

¶ “These African Heritage Sites Are Under Threat From Rising Seas, But There’s Still Time To Save Them” • Extreme weather events and rising seas mean around 190 spectacular heritage sites on Africa’s coasts will be at risk of severe flooding and erosion in the next 30 years, according to a recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. [CNN]

Amphitheater in Sabratha, Libya (Franzfoto, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Radiation Spike At Nuclear Plant Seized By Russian Forces” • A radiation spike has been recorded near Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant which has been seized by Russian forces, monitoring data shows. The rise was reportedly caused by heavy military vehicles stirring contaminated soil in the 4,000-sq-km (2,485 sq-mile) exclusion zone. [BBC]

¶ “Germany Doubles Pace Of Energy Transition” • With a change of government that reflected the country’s move towards greater climate action, Germany doubled its energy transition’s pace. While some use of coal will persist until 2030, and natural gas for another decade, Germany’s new government has set some very ambitious targets for 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Enel Green Power’s Aurora Solar Farm (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Northvolt Will Convert Swedish Paper Mill To New Battery Factory” • Swedish battery company Northvolt said it has signed of a letter of intent to purchase the Kvarnsveden Mill in Sweden. Northvolt will develop the site into a manufacturing plant for active material and battery cells, reusing and refurbishing much of the existing site infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Janus Trucks Converting Freightliner To Electricity – Seeing Lot Of Demand” • Janus announced that the second fully electric registered Class 8 prime mover in Australia has hit the roads. Its exchangeable batteries can be swapped in three minutes, giving it a range of up to 600 km (373 miles). And the JCM350 Janus Conversion Module is 480 HP. [CleanTechnica]

Conversion by Janus Trucks (Janus Trucks image)

¶ “Canadian Solar Signs PPA For 381-MW Brazil Solar” • Steel manufacturer Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais has signed a power purchase agreement with Canadian Solar for 50% of the total electricity production at its 381-MW Morada do Sol solar farm in Brazil. Canadian Solar will develop and build the project in the State of Goiás. [reNews]

¶ “Seaway 7 partners on offshore wind in Asia” • Seaway 7 and Sumitomo Electric Industries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the development of offshore wind projects in Japan and the wider Asia-Pacific region. The Japanese and Asian offshore wind market is expected to grow substantially in the next decades. [reNews]

Offshore windpower (Seaway 7 image)

US:

¶ “Tesla Installs Megapacks On Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula” • The Kenai Peninsula of Alaska will no longer rely on gas turbines to distribute electricity to the community. Homer Electric installed a 37 Tesla Megapacks, which will provide grid stability even during freezing temperatures of minus 30°F. The are had been having problems with outages. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “USPS Finalizes Orders Of Gas-Powered Trucks” • The US Postal Service has said ‘no’ to EVs by placing an order for a gas-powered fleet. The Hill reported that the USPS announced its finalized plans to order a new fleet of majority gasoline-powered vehicles even though it contradicts the Biden administration’s emissions goal. [CleanTechnica]

USPS Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (Courtesy of USPS)

¶ “US Offshore Wind Auction In NY, NJ Raises A Record $4.37 Billion” • The federal government announced a record $4.37 billion sale of six offshore wind leases off the coasts of New York and New Jersey. The success of the lease auction moves forward the Biden administration’s goal to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. [Verve times]

¶ “Convalt Energy Proposes A $5 Billion Renewable Energy Project In Northern Maine” • An energy company that operates renewable power projects overseas is trying to expand its US footprint, with a project in Maine. Convalt Energy is proposing a $5 billion energy generation and transmission project based in East Millinocket. [Maine Public]

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February 25 Energy News

February 25, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Red-State Voters Want Clean Energy Too. Just Ask Nebraska” • Nebraska turned more than a few heads recently when its public officials adopted net-zero carbon goals for electricity. Renewable energy enjoys support among voters regardless of their politics. While Democrats may be motivated by the climate, Republicans see economic benefits. [CleanTechnica]

Nebraska (Taylor Siebert, Unsplash)

¶ “Methane Is Killing Us. Does Anyone Care? Does Anyone Even Know?” • We know that methane burns cleaner than coal. But exploring for, drilling, compressing, and transporting the stuff causes massive amounts of environmental damage. Some scientists estimate methane emissions in the atmosphere account for 30% of global warming. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why Europe Is So Dependent On Russia For Natural Gas” • The EU is especially dependent on Russian energy, which is becoming increasingly unsustainable. The Washington Post reported the EU is making plans for energy independence from Russia, citing anonymous sources. The plan is expected to be announced next week. [CNBC]

Nord Stream pipeline route (Samuel Bailey, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

World:

¶ “Oil Rises As Russia Invasion Nears Ukraine Capital” • Oil prices rose on Friday amid investor concerns over tightening supplies as Russian’s invasion of Ukraine entered its second day. The price of Brent crude oil rose by more than 2% to $101 (£75) a barrel as fighting appeared to intensify near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. [BBC]

¶ “How Exxon, BP, And Shell Help Russia Pump Oil And Gas” • Any action that affects Russia’s energy interests will highlight the role played by some of the West’s biggest Oil & Gas players, which have provided billions of dollars for Russia and are some of the country’s leading foreign investors. Here is information on who they are and how they are involved. [CNN]

LNG tanker (Diogo Hungria, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “Carbon-Free Food Deliveries In Melbourne, Australia” • In Melbourne, CERES Fair Food wanted to provide carbon-free food deliveries. It borrowed from CORENA the money to buy two Ford eTransit vans and install Zappi solar smart chargers. This allowed it to get the most use out of its excess solar output from PVs on its warehouse roof. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Gogoro Goes Big With One Millionth Swappable Battery” • The battery-swapping leaders at Gogoro have secured a place at the head of the pack with their millionth battery. The company started 2015, went to fundraising in 2017, and has one million batteries in use, making it Taiwan’s battery swap standard for two-wheeled vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Battery swap station (Gogoro image)

¶ “What’s The Construction Industry Blueprint To Cut Carbon?” • The construction industry has focused on improving building design for decades. But now, as actors across the value chain see the need to increase decarbonization actions, more architects, builders, and contractors are investing in design innovation for sustainable construction. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NSW Looks To Quadruple Size Of First Renewable Energy Zone After Eraring Closure” • The government of New South Wales unveiled a new corridor for major transmission lines that could help it quadruple the size of the Central-West Renewable Energy Zone, one of five being created to replace coal stations that are closing. [Renew Economy]

Crudine Ridge wind farm (CWP Renewables image)

¶ “Fortescue Strikes Deal With Queensland For Green Hydrogen Transmission Link” • Fortescue Future Industries got support from Queensland’s government to connect two proposed green hydrogen projects to the grid so that they can access supplies of renewable electricity. One of the projects would produce 55,000 tonnes of hydrogen each year. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Russian Forces Seize Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant” • The Russian military forces seized control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukrainian officials say. A presidential adviser said the “totally pointless attack” on Thursday amounted to “one of the most serious threats in Europe today.” The danger goes far beyond the borders of the Ukraine. [BBC]

Empty buildings at Chernobyl (Viktor Hesse, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Offshore Wind Done Right” • We need offshore wind, and we need to do it right. Developing a strategy to protect the imperiled right whale population from day one of commercial-scale offshore wind development in US waters showcases the Biden administration’s commitment to fight climate, and to stem biodiversity loss. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mixed Water Supply Conditions In The Northwest Affect 2022 Hydropower Outlook” • NOAA’s Northwest River Forecast Center released its latest water supply forecast for the 2022 water year, which runs from October 2021 through September 2022. This covers a third of the US hydropower capacity, so it has bearing on fuel prices. It is at near normal. [CleanTechnica]

Columbia River (Hannah, Unsplash)

¶ “New Mexico Grand Opening Of Pattern Energy’s Western Spirit Wind, Largest Renewable Project In US History” • Pattern Energy Group LP commissioned its Western Spirit Wind power facilities. Western Spirit Wind consists of four wind projects with a total capacity of over 1,050 MW, enough to provide for annual needs of 900,000 Americans. [Los Alamos Daily Post]

¶ “Feds Rescind License Extension For Florida Nuclear Plant” • NRC officials reversed a decision to allow the Turkey Point nuclear plant in southern Florida to continue running for another 30 years. The NRC ordered a review of environmental risks, including those posed by climate change. The reactors could still run until 2032 and 2033. [WHEC TV]

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February 24 Energy News

February 24, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Good Riddance Nord Stream 2. Now Europe Has A Golden Opportunity” • At long last, the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 has been suspended. It was a terrible idea from its conception and now, with Russia on the brink of a second invasion of Ukraine, it’s finally halted. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made good on a threat to close it if there is an invasion. [CNN]

Pipes for Nord Stream 2 (Gerd Fahrenhorst, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Shattering The Energy Independence Myth” • We’re often told that energy independence is a national security issue. The New York Times published an opinion piece in which two authors suggest energy independence for the US is not about pumping more oil and gas. It is about pushing the renewable energy and EV revolutions forward. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Net-Zero Energy Blok-By-Blok: Lower Emissions And Costs With Net-Zero Energy Modules” • A report from Blokable, the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory details actionable pathways to building net zero energy housing while reducing greenhouse gas emissions without increasing costs. [CleanTechnica]

Net zero prefabricated housing unit (Werner Slocum, NREL)

¶ “Global Warming And Land Use Change To Drive More Extreme Wildfires” • Extreme wildfires are set to become more frequent in the future, increasing by around 50% by the end of this century, according to a report from the UN. Researchers say that rising temperatures and changes to the way we use land will drive the increase. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Oil Hits $100, US Stock Futures Slide After Putin Announces Military Operation In Donbas” • Brent crude oil hit $100 a barrel and stock futures fell sharply Wednesday after blasts were heard in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Donbas. Dow futures lost nearly 700 points, or about 2%. Nasdaq futures dropped 2.7%. [CNN]

¶ “A Used Tesla Costs More Than A New One In China” • A used Tesla costs more than a new one in China, CarNewsChina reports. Demand for Teslas is high while supply of new ones just can’t keep up. The used car market in China has developed pretty quickly thanks to the chip shortage, supply line challenges, and Covid-related issues. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “European Renewable Energy Firm Plans To Invest $10 Billion In Singapore By 2030” • EDP Renewables, the world’s fourth largest renewable energy producer, will invest $10 billion by 2030 to establish its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore, while continuing to develop new clean energy projects across the region, the company said. [The Straits Times]

Sunseap floating solar farm (Sunseap Group image)

¶ “City Of Cape Town To Procure 300 MW Of Renewable Energy From IPPs” • To reduce its reliance on the utility Eskom and to enable access to more affordable and reliable electricity, the mayor of Cape Town announced that the city intends to procure up to 300 MW of renewable energy from IPPs over the next few months. [White & Case LLP]

¶ “Energy Storage Firms In Edinburgh And East Lothian Advance” • Gravitricity, a Scottish firm that plans to turn disused mines into renewable energy generation plants, has won UK Government backing. And Scottish specialist Sunamp, based in East Lothian, also won support under the Longer Duration Energy Storage program. [The Herald]

Gravitricity managing director Charlie Blair (Gravitricity image)

¶ “Experts: Ukraine’s Nuclear Power Reactors On The Front Lines Threaten Another Disaster ‘On Par’ With Chernobyl” • An organization of US and Russian physicians warned that a military conflict involving the two powers in Ukraine risks a nuclear “catastrophe” that could have horrific effects on all of Europe, and potentially the entire planet. [Raw Story]

US:

¶ “USPS Finalizing Plan To Replace Fleet With 90% Gas-Powered Vehicles” • The US Postal Service is moving ahead with a plan to replace its current fleet with 90% gas-powered trucks and 10% battery EVs, after the EPA and White House objected and asked for further study of the emissions impact. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said more EVs are not funded. [CNN]

USPS delivery truck (Joel Moysuh, Unsplash)

¶ “‘We Are A Gas Superpower.’ Ex-Trump Regulator Says Us Natural Gas Can Help Europe” • The decision by Germany to halt the certification of Nord Stream 2 underscores the critical role US natural gas can play on the world stage, former top energy regulator Neil Chatterjee told CNN on Tuesday. The US is the world’s largest producer of natural gas. [CNN]

¶ “250 Million Tax Dollars Spent To Clean Up Yet Another Fuel Leak In US Navy Storage Tank” • The Sierra Club of Hawaii has been pressing the issue of leaky Navy fuel tanks for more than 20 years, citing ongoing leaks of jet fuel into the aquifer used for Oahu’s drinking water. Now the Navy is finally doing something about it, at high cost. [CleanTechnica]

Aerial view of Pearl Harbor, 1986 (PH1 Javner, US Navy)

¶ “The Biggest Offshore Wind Lease Auction In US History ‘Showcases Booming Demand’ For Clean Power” • The Interior Department opened a record-breaking auction of offshore wind leases for six areas in the New York Bight that will provide clean electricity to New York and New Jersey. The lease sales so far raised more than $1 billion. [Environment America]

¶ “Indiana Lawmakers Pass ‘Baby Nukes’ Bill And Send It To The Governor” • In a vote of 70 to 22, the Indiana General Assembly has overwhelmingly passed a bill that would allow electric utilities to build small modular reactors. It is a move that could pave the way for commercial nuclear power in the state for the first time. [Indianapolis Business Journal]

Have a spectacularly sensible day.

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February 23 Energy News

February 23, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Mustang Mach-E: The Classic Ponycar Grows Up” • If I like my V8 Mustang, will I still like an electric Mustang? Much ink has been spilled since the Mach-E appeared, but the question is still valid. Well, after a week spent behind the wheel of a Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD, I think I have an answer, and that answer is: maybe! [CleanTechnica]

Mustang Mach-E (Nicolas Peyrol, Unsplash)

¶ “2022 Will Be The Year For Next-Generation Clean Energy Technologies” • Next-generation clean energy technologies are reducing overall global energy demand and helping to make the energy supply side climate neutral. By all accounts, the year 2022 will be when that makes the energy mix cleaner, more secure, and more competitive. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Yale Study Puts The Kibosh On EV Emissions Myth” • You probably have heard all the rumors lately that EV emissions are greater than the emissions of conventional cars. Two researchers of the Yale School of Environment, Paul Wolfram and Stephanie Weber, did their own analysis and discovered those claims about EV emissions were simply not true. [CleanTechnica]

EV manufacture (Yale School of Environment image)

¶ “Greenland’s Ice Is Melting From The Bottom Up, And Far Faster Than Previously Thought, Study Shows” • The ice sheet covering Greenland is melting rapidly at its base and is injecting far more water and ice into the ocean than had been understood, according to research. That could have serious ramifications for global sea level rise. [CNN]

World:

¶ “What Is Black Carbon? The Latest Way Humans Are Causing Changes In Antarctica” • A study published in the journal Nature Communications found that the increasing human presence in Antarctica is causing more snow melt. With more tourists and researchers, there is more carbon in the snow, warming it to melt when the sun shines. [CNN]

Antarctic tourists (henrique setim, Unsplash)

¶ “Germany Halts Nord Stream 2 And Russia Responds With A Stark Warning” • Germany said it was halting certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline following Moscow’s actions in eastern Ukraine. Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, warned after Germany’s announcement that prices in Europe would skyrocket. [CNN]

¶ “French Startup Transition-One Wants To Supercharge EV Conversions With Its Ecological Transition Solution” • France’s recent homologation law allows retrofit of combustion vehicles that are more than 5 years old and has opened up opportunities for firms to accelerate the conversion of these vehicles to electric, with a €5000 per vehicle incentive. [CleanTechnica]

Mini Cooper, conversion candidate (Lloyd Freeman, Pexels)

¶ “22% EV Market Share In Germany! Fiat 500e Is #1” • German plugin EV passenger car sales in January were up 8% year over year. The main culprit for lukewarm performance was plugin hybrids, down 8%. Meanwhile, battery EVs grew 28%, to 20,892 units, with pure electrics starting the year ahead of plugin hybrids (53% vs 47%). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa To Supply Two Polish Offshore Projects” • Siemens Gamesa signed a preferred supplier agreement for two projects in the Polish Baltic Sea. Partners Equinor and Polenergia will use the SG 14-236 DD turbine model for the projects, which will have a combined installed capacity of 1440 MW. The turbine has nominal power of 14 MW. [reNews]

Offshore wind farm (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “SBM Considering 400-MW Northern Irish Floater” • Marine engineering firm SBM Offshore, based in the Netherlands, is assessing Northern Ireland’s coastal potential for a multi-million pound Irish Sea floating wind energy development. The North Channel Wind floating wind scheme, with a proposed capacity of 400 MW, could have profound effects. [reNews]

¶ “Finland To Reevaluate Russian Rosatom Nuclear Reactor Project: PM” • Finland will reevaluate the security risks for a planned nuclear power reactor to be built by Rosatom, the Russian state-owned firm, following Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said. The decision was proposed by the country’s defense ministry. [Daily Sabah]

Sanna Marin (News Oresund, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “43% Of Pickup Owners Are Considering Buying An Electric Truck” • Car Gurus creates surveys. In the last quarter of 2021, the company asked 1,026 pickup truck owners in the US about their plans for the future. 43% of those said they would consider buying an electric truck in the next 10 years. That’s up from 34% just one year ago. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Launches Fleet Option For Businesses” • Tesla recently launched a fleet option for businesses that showcases the benefits of running a fleet of Tesla vehicles. Business owners can contact Tesla via the form at a link and input information such as the company name and the size of the fleet. There’s also a box for additional comments. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla cars (Tesla image)

¶ “How To Get Renewable Energy Onto The Grid? Northfield Has An Idea” • A bill before the Minnesota legislature would use $4.5 million from the Renewable Development Account for a grant to Northfield to create a pilot project that would develop a distributed energy resource management system for the city’s electricity grid. [Minnesota House of Representatives]

¶ “Pueblo County Drops Support For Nuclear Power After Facing Backlash From Residents” • Officials of Pueblo County, Colorado, say they are pulling back their support for replacing the state’s largest coal-fired power plant with a nuclear reactor following a public outcry from residents. They had expressed interest in nuclear power last year. [Colorado Public Radio]

Have a cunningly insightful day.

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February 22 Energy News

February 22, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “New High Performance Solid-State Battery Swaps Indium For Scandium” • Much-recognized research scientist Linda Nazar of the University of Waterloo in Ontario has been carving her name into the solid-state battery field, and she has just one-upped herself. This time she has got involved a new chemistry for the solid-state battery. [CleanTechnica]

Concept car: 1977 GM Electrovette (photo courtesy of GM)

World:

¶ “Ukraine-Russia Tensions: Oil Surges On Supply Fears” • Oil prices are climbing on fears that the Ukraine-Russia crisis will disrupt supplies across the world. The price of Brent crude rose to a seven-year high of $97.65 (£71.91) a barrel after Russia recognised two rebel-held regions in Ukraine as independent states and ordered troops into them. [BBC]

¶ “Climate Change Report To Sound Warning On Impacts” • The IPCC carries out a large-scale review of the latest research on global warming every six or seven years. A set of three reports about to be issued is their sixth such report. It is expected to be the most worrying assessment yet of how rising temperatures affect every living thing. [BBC]

Endangered red leaf monkey (Jeremy Bezanger, Unsplash)

¶ “Lithium: Good News For The Australian Mining Industry” • In good news for the Australian mining industry, miners produced 55,000 tonnes of lithium in 2021, a 28% increase from the 39,700 tonnes of lithium produced in 2020. This is approximately half of global production. Chile, in the number two  spot, produced about a third as much as Australia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Volkswagen E-Up! Returns” • In 2020, Volkswagen stopped accepting new orders for its smallest electric car, the E-Up!, citing an order backlog. But the order backlog was cleared, and in fact, Volkswagen quietly sold 30,800 copies of the e-Up! in Germany last year, making it the second best-selling electric car in the country. [CleanTechnica]

E-Up! (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Worley, ABB, IBM To Deliver ‘Scalable Power-To-Gas’” • ABB, IBM, and Worley signed an MOU to work together on helping energy companies build and run green hydrogen facilities. The planned three-party collaboration aims to develop an integrated system that facility owners can build quickly, cheaply, and safely, and operate efficiently. [reNews]

¶ “Uniper Forges German Green Steel Partnership” • Uniper has entered into an agreement to supply German steel producer Salzgitter, one of Europe’s largest steel producers, with green hydrogen to produce low carbon steel. The first project is a planned import terminal capable of converting green ammonia back into hydrogen. [reNews]

Uniper facility (Uniper image)

¶ “Queensland Government Gears Up For Shift To Renewables And Decentralized Power With Microgrid R&D Hub” • The Queensland Labor government is ramping up the state’s shift to a decentralised and renewable powered electricity network with the help of a new $6 million Microgrid and Isolated Systems Test (MIST) facility in Cairns. [Renew Economy]

¶ “China And Russia Cannot Be Trusted On UK Nuclear Projects, Parliament Told” • China and Russia cannot be trusted with commercial contracts and should be barred from future UK nuclear power projects, a Labour former environment minister said. Lord Rooker warned against the countries’ involvement in building plants as they were unreliable. [GB News]

Guangdong nuclear plant (IAEA Imagebank, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “Biden Administration Freezes New Oil And Gas Drilling Leases After Court Rules Against Key Climate Tool” • Earlier this month, a District Judge ruled that the Biden administration may not use the “social cost of carbon” in decisions around oil and gas drilling on public land. Now the administration has put a pause on new leases and permits for drilling. [CNN]

¶ “Renewable Energy: Zero Blackouts, Millions Of New Jobs: Mark Z Jacobson” • Mark Z Jacobson and his team recently published an updated study building on prior research to show switching to 100% renewable energy would virtually eliminate the electrical grid blackouts that have plagued many areas of the country in recent years. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (US DOE image)

¶ “Ford And Volvo Join Redwood Materials Battery Recycling Program In California” • Along with Ford and Volvo, Redwood Materials is launching an EV battery recycling program. Ford is also an investor in the company. Redwood Materials will work with dealers and dismantlers in California to recover end-of-life battery packs in hybrid and EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Obscure Electric Truck Maker Named ‘Mack’ Emerges From Stealth Mode” • A number of high profile EV startups have been grabbing for a piece of the electric truck market, but it looks like a name not known for electric mobility could have the drop on them. That would be Mack Truck, the iconic brand name with the familiar bulldog mascot. [CleanTechnica]

Class 8 Mack LR Electric truck (Courtesy of Mack Truck)

¶ “Texas Supreme Court Tells Exxon To Go Pound Sand” • In a brazen attempt by Exxon to stop lawsuits against it filed by eight California cities and counties, it argued that the suits violated Texas’ sovereignty and that it had every right to hide the truth about its products because its “free speech” was protected. Texas’s Supreme Court was not impressed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Despite Regulator’s Ruling, GlobalFoundries To Move Ahead With Power Plan” • Semiconductor maker GlobalFoundries said it plans to press on with plans to create its own electric utility, despite a ruling from regulators that the company would not be exempt from state renewable energy rules. Its clean energy goals already exceed the state’s requirements. [Seven Days]

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February 21 Energy News

February 21, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Fab Labs Or Gigafactories? Or Both?” • Does everything need to be produced in a gigafactory? What is the place for a fab lab or microfactory? In a recent book, Dr Paul Wildman makes the argument for cosmolocalisation – global design produced locally in fab labs, where peer works with peer for the development of their own humanity. [CleanTechnica]

Open Motors Tabby

 

¶ “Will Elon Musk End The Fossil Fuel Industry? Tesla Vs Exxon” • Are oil and car executives hiding their heads in the sand? (Looking for more oil reserves perhaps?) Is Musk right about the end of the fossil fuel industry? UK-based research and analysis group Rethink Energy believes so. And there are good reasons to think they might be right. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is Corn-Based Ethanol Worse Than Gasoline? New Study Says Yes” • A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that corn-based ethanol mixed in with gasoline is most likely a much larger contributor to global warming than gasoline by itself. The study was funded in part by the National Wildlife Federation and the US DOE. [CleanTechnica]

Corn (Waldemar Brandt, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Can India Become An Automotive Superpower?” • India is expected to be the third largest global automotive market by 2026 and is targeting 30% of new vehicle sales being EVs by 2030. Can India achieve this by becoming an auomotive superpower? The government is acting to support growth in the EV markets and its support infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Candela C-8 Is The IPhone Moment For Electric Boats” • After sixteen months of development, Candela announced its C-8 electric hydrofoiling speedboat. It offers long all-electric range and high speed. It’s the company’s most ordered electric boat ever and had its first flight outside the Swedish tech company’s Stockholm headquarters. [CleanTechnica]

Candela C-8 (Candela image)

¶ “Irish Greenwashing Awards Call Out Misinformation” • The Irish Greenwashing Awards call out top misinformation spreaders that have been greenwashing and profiting from the climate crisis. Irish EVs is taking a satirical approach to help bring attention to the issue of greenwashing that’s been happening with the fossil fuel industry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “We Should Boost Europe’s Energy Independence By Investing In Renewables, CEO Says” • The CEO of Portuguese utility EDP linked Europe’s energy independence to the rapid adoption of renewables. He said investment in the sector needed to come “much faster.” Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have put energy independence on people’s minds. [CNBC]

Wind turbines in Portugal (Vitor Oliveira, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Mike Cannon-Brookes Dismisses PM’s Suggestion That Coal Plants Should Run To End Of Scheduled Life” • AGL rejected the initial bid by Brookfield and Cannon-Brookes’s Grok Ventures to buy it for about $8 billion, shut its coal plants by 2030, and add 8 GW of renewable energy and storage to replace them. PM Scott Morrison added his own comments. [The Guardian]

¶ “Sarawak Aims To Be Regional Renewable Energy Powerhouse” • Sarawak aims to attain sustainable growth and prosperity by becoming a South-east Asian powerhouse to provide the region with affordable and reliable renewable energy, said the Malay state’s Chief Minister. He said, Sarawak’s abundant indigenous resources will be used for this. [Malay Mail]

Hydro dam in Sarawak (Gem Lyn, Unsplash)

¶ “China Looks To Unify Power Markets As Part Of Its Green Energy Push” • The state-of-the-art “flexible green electricity grid” that powered the 2022 Winter Olympic Games is the first of its kind, and it holds enormous potential for being able to send renewable energy across vast distances through the use of direct currents. [Oil Price]

US:

¶ “Will The US Government Really Build 500,000 EV Charging Stations?” • Recently, the US government released further details on their plans to build charging stations. Now, as part of a new website by the Departments of Energy and Transportation, the government finally released new information detailing how the process is going to work. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging station (dcbel, Unsplash)

¶ “A Year After Texas Cold Spell, Study Shows Renewable Energy Could Avoid Blackouts” • A year ago, Texas had a deadly blackout. Now, a study shows that electricity blackouts can be avoided across the nation – perhaps even during intense weather events – by switching to 100% clean and renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and water energy. [Denton Record-Chronicle]

¶ “State Senate President Seeks Commitment To Renewable Energy” • Rhode Island’s Senate president wants to require the state to be powered completely by renewable energy by 2030. Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio introduced legislation this week. The Senate approved his similar legislation last year, but it stalled in the House. [MSN]

Have a very beautiful day.

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February 20 Energy News

February 20, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Floating Charging Points Will Let Ships Draw Electricity From Offshore Wind Farms – And Could Recharge Battery-Powered Vessels Of The Future” • Danish shipping firm Maersk Supply Service is to launch an electricity charging system to give ships access to renewable energy while they’re at sea. The electricity will come from offshore wind farms. [Yahoo News]

Stillstrom charging buoy (Maersk Supply Service rendering)

World:

¶ “Electric Vehicle Charging Network For South Australia” • The Royal Automobile Association of South Australia is empowering a new generation of road adventurers by building an electric vehicle charging network. RAA will install 536 EV charging points at 140 new locations to create South Australia’s first EV charging network. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Storm Eunice Carves Deadly Trail Across Europe” • At least 16 people have been killed as Storm Eunice carved a deadly trail across Europe. Deaths were reported in the Irish Republic, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Poland. Millions of homes and businesses lost power across Europe and transport networks were left in disarray. [BBC]

Storm (Torsten Dederichs, Unsplash)

¶ “As The Owner Of Australia’s Biggest Coal Plant Locks In A Closing Date, Others Are Ramping Up” • The decision by Origin to shutter the giant, 2880-MW Eraring plant follows the exit of Hazelwood power station in 2017 and plans that other big coal-fired units will go within a few years. But not all coal-fired power plants are being hastily shut down. [ABC]

¶ “Why Ireland Is The Worst Country In The EU At Using Renewables To Make Heat Energy” • Only 6% of the energy required for heating and cooling in Ireland came from renewable sources in 2020 – the lowest proportion of any EU country. For the EU as a whole, 23.1% of the energy used for heating and cooling in 2020. [TheJournal.ie]

Scene in County Cork (Jason Murphy, Unsplash)

¶ “BBM To Revisit Bataan Nuclear Plant’s Repowering” • With a power supply crisis jolting the next Philippine administration, the team of Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr is weighing options for repowering the mothballed 620-MW Bataan Nuclear Power Plant to augment the country’s electricity supply. [Manila Bulletin]

¶ “Benefits For Ross-Shire Highlighted In Renewables Industry Report As Sector Gears Up For Major Expansion By 2030” • Businesses with strong Ross-shire links are among more than 30 highlighted in a new report as set to benefit from a massive expansion in Scotland’s renewables energy sector. Wind capacity could increase 231% by 2030. [Ross-Shire Journal]

Arrival of superstructures (Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm image)

US:

¶ “Colorado Rural Power Utility Shifts Away From Long-Time Energy Provider To Pursue Locally-Produced Renewable Electricity” • La Plata Electric, a rural electric cooperative in southwest Colorado, has voted to shift partially away from its single energy provider so it can pursue locally produced renewable energy. [Colorado Public Radio]

¶ “Major Wind Developments Are Sweeping Into Northwest Oklahoma, Energy Companies Say” • The winds of change are blowing in Northwest Oklahoma with the development of several major wind projects over the next three years starting as early as this month. Invenergy and NextEra are both investing billions in Oklahoma wind farms. [EnidNews.com]

Wind farm (NextEra Energy Resources image)

¶ “Detonation takes down stacks at Springfield power plant” • The stacks at James River Power Station in Springfield, Missouri, are gone, and they had quite the send-off. Between livestreams, parking lot gatherings, field clustering and hilltop viewing, thousands of people watched the end of an era for the City Utilities power station. [Springfield News-Leader]

¶ “Gov Inslee, Gonzaga students talk climate change” • Gov Jay Inslee of Washington engaged in a serious conversation about climate change with about 50 Gonzaga University students. He emphasized that the needed shift to clean fuel would be “the largest industrial transition in the history of the world,” but the back-and-forth wasn’t all heavy. [Gonzaga University]

Have an incontrovertibly copacetic day.

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February 19 Energy News

February 19, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Why Can’t Renewable Energy Sources Keep UK Energy Prices Down?” • UK power generation from renewable sources has more than doubled since 2014. Nevertheless, dependence on fossil fuels is going to put a serious strain on people’s finances for the foreseeable future. So, why is the UK still at the mercy of gas prices? [BBC Science Focus Magazine]

Power lines (Matthew Henry, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Storm Eunice Blows Off Rooftops With Highest Wind Speeds On Record In England” • Storm Eunice tore down rooftops and trees, crushed cars, and sent planes skidding on runways as millions of people across the UK hunkered down at home to stay out of hurricane-strength winds. Its winds reached 122 mph, the highest ever recorded in the UK. [CNN]

¶ “The Flood Barriers That Might Save Venice” • The MOSE tidal barrier was built over a period of four decades to protect Venice from rising sea water at high tides. Fourteen months after it was finished, it has been raised 33 times. Naysayers of the past appear to have been proven wrong. Not once has it failed to protect the city when it was raised. [CNN]

MOSE barrier raised (Consorzio Venezia Nuova image)

¶ “OTA Software Upgrades Coming Soon For Volkswagen ID.4” • Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess held an Ask Me Anything session on reddit this week. He got over 1,000 questions from people all around the world and his answers were illuminating. Basically what he said was a testament to the power of over-the-air updates. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Antarctica Will Likely Set An Alarming New Record This Year, New Data Shows” • Preliminary data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center suggests Antarctica will likely set a record this year for the lowest sea ice extent – the area of ocean covered by sea ice. Sea ice around the continent has dropped lower than the previous record minimum set in March 2017. [CNN

Iceberg (Sergey Pesterev, Unsplash)

¶ “North Ayrshire Council Plans Solar Farm And Wind Turbines” • Plans for wind turbines and a solar farm at a development site in Irvine could help North Ayrshire Council to generate almost three times its future energy needs. The council said the three projects could generate 277% of the authority’s future energy demands, with the excess to be sold. [Irvine Times]

¶ “Canada Will Soon Have Its First Tesla Police Car” • Canada’s first Tesla will be added to fleet of patrol cars by the Bridgewater Police Service in Nova Scotia. Mayor Davit Mitchell shared his excitement on Twitter, noting that the city council agreed to buy a Tesla Model 3. He said data showed the lifetime cost will be less than for a conventional patrol car. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla police car in the UK (Tesla UK image)

¶ “Argentine Think Tank Sounds Alarm Over $8 Billion China Nuclear Power Contract” • Argentina’s General Mosconi energy institute has questioned a decision by the administration of President Alberto Fernández to sign a $8.3 billion turnkey contract for a nuclear power station with China National Nuclear Corporation. [BNamericas]

US:

¶ “Georgia To See 3,000+ Jobs From Build Back Better Act” • NRDC analysis shows that the Build Back Better Act, as it stands, could significantly accelerate clean energy investment, economic activity, and job growth in Georgia. The Senate’s passage of the Build Back Better Act would bring these climate and economic benefits to states across the country. [CleanTechnica]

SK Innovation’s planned Georgia EV battery site (SK Innovation)

¶ “200 Battery-Buffered Ultra-Fast Electric Car Chargers For Florida” • ADS-TEC Energy is a global leader in battery-buffered, ultra-fast charging. Smart City Capital specializes in finding funding solutions for the technologies that will define the future. The two companies are bringing ultra-fast ChargeBox electric car chargers to Florida. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Can The Salton Sea Geothermal Field In California Power Our EV Revolution?” • The Salton Sea geothermal field in California may hold enough lithium to meet all of the US battery needs, with enough left over to export some. But can it be extracted in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way? And how long will the resource last? [CleanTechnica]

Lithium extraction from hot brine (Jenny Nuss, Berkeley Lab)

¶ “Nacero Awards Long-Term Wind Power Agreement To NextEra Energy” • A press release says Nacero Inc awarded a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources a long-term power purchase agreement to supply wind power to Nacero’s planned manufacturing facility in Penwell, Texas, to supply gasoline with a net-zero lifecycle. [Odessa American] (Really?)

¶ “County Announces Renewable Solar Project” • In Wisconsin, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Alliant Energy announced final plans for construction to begin this spring on a 90-acre solar project in the Town of Cottage Grove. Parisi said the Yahara Solar Project will achieve Dane County’s goal of using all renewable electricity at its facilities. [Verona Press]

Dairy farm in Wisconsin (Corey Coyle, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Texas Led The Country In New Renewable Energy Projects Last Year” • Texas led the US in building new renewable energy projects last year, according to a report released by the American Clean Power Association. This continues a promising trend in a state that is known for relying heavily on fossil fuels that warm the planet. [The Bharat Express News]

¶ “Richland Workers Exposed To Radiation At Nuclear Power Plant, Says Fed Agency” • Some Columbia Generating Station workers received significant exposure to radiation during the spring maintenance and refueling outage, according to the NRC. Exposures could have been higher, but, by chance, the problem was discovered promptly. [Tri-City Herald]

Have a consummately gorgeous day.

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