Posts Tagged ‘wind power’

August 3 Energy News

August 3, 2021

World:

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

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

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

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

Cirata Floating Photovoltaic Power Plant (Masdar)

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

Australia:

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

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

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

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

Vestas turbines (Vestas image)

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

US:

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

Gigafactory Berlin (Tesla courtesy image)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have an admirably enchanting day.

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August 2 Energy News

August 2, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

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

World:

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

Kavir National Park, Iran (mostafa meraji, Unsplash)

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

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

Solar farm (PACE image)

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

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

Proposed wind farm (Image supplied)

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

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

Solar project (Pacifico Energy image)

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

US:

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

Flat Top wind park in central Texas (Innergex image)

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

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

Colorado (Katie Moum, Unsplash)

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

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

Have a mystifyingly delightful day.

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August 1 Energy News

August 1, 2021

Opinion:

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

Higgens eye pearly mussel (USFWS Midwest Region)

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

 

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

World:

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

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

Delhi (Anish Kumar, Unsplash)

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

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

Solar PV (Biel Morro, Unsplash)

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

US:

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

Fire fighters (Garreth Paul, Unsplash)

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

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

Have an easily splendid day.

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July 31 Energy News

July 31, 2021

Opinion:

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

Xbus (Image courtesy of Xbus)

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

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

Climate crime scene (Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona, Unsplash)

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

Science and Technology:

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

Replicated military microgrid environments (NREL image)

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

World:

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

Tesla Megapack

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

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

Pipeline (Darya Jum, Unsplash)

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

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

Solar panels (Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

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

US:

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

Wind turbines (Dan Meyers, Unsplash)

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

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

Have a tolerably exquisite day.

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July 30 Energy News

July 30, 2021

Opinion:

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

Tesla Model 3 (Stefan Lehner, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

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

World:

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

Nuuk, Greenland (Aningaaq Rosing Carlsen, Unsplash)

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

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

Supercharger station (Beat Jau, Unsplash)

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

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

Offshore wind farm (SSE Renewables image)

US:

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

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

F-150 Lightning (Ford image, cropped)

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

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

Wind turbines (Peter Franken, Unsplash)

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

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

Solar panels (Chelsea, Unsplash)

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

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

Have a spectacularly idyllic day.

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July 29 Energy News

July 29, 2021

Opinion: 

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

San Francisco (Patrick Perkins, Unsplash)

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

World:

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

Rain (Nick Scheerbart, Unsplash)

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

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

Fishing near floating wind turbines (Equinor image)

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

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

Karhunnevankangas foundation work (WPD image)

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

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

Solar panels (BayWa RE image)

US:

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

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

Tesla Megapack (Tesla image)

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

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

Electrical generation by source (EIA image)

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

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

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July 28 Energy News

July 28, 2021

Opinion:

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

Countryside near Chattanooga (David Sager, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

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

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

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

World:

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

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

Transporting the turbine (Orbital Marine Power)

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

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

Aurora at Whitehorse (naoh cova, Unsplash)

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

US:

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

Sunrise (OpticalNomad, Unsplash)

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

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

Downtown Minneapolis (Tom Conway, Unsplash)

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

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

Duke Energy windfarm (Duke Energy image)

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

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

Have an enjoyably carefree day.

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July 27 Energy News

July 27, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

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

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

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

World:

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

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

Gujarat (Vivek Doshi, Unsplash)

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

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

Hywind offshore wind project (Statoil)

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

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

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

US:

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

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

Boat ramp at Lake Powell (National Park Service)

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

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

NextEra solar project (NextEra via Facebook)

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

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

Have an outstandingly pleasant day.

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July 26 Energy News

July 26, 2021

Opinion:

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

Transmission line (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

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

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

World:

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

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

Imagine a car (Imagination promotion by Mercedes-Benz)

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

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

Offshore wind farm (Carl Raw, Unsplash)

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

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

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

Australia:

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

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

Yackandandah, as featured in ad (CEC image)

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

US:

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

Damaged forest (Chris LeBoutillier, Unsplash)

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

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

Have an uninterruptedly perfect day.

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July 25 Energy News

July 25, 2021

Opinion:

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

Electric bus (Juneau Capital Transit electric bus)

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

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

Forest (Matt Palmer, Unsplash)

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

Science and Technology:

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

Smog (Jacek Dylag, Unsplash)

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

World:

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

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

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

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

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

US:

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

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

Electric bike joy (Himiway Bikes, Unsplash)

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

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

Have a gratifyingly tranquil day.

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July 24 Energy News

July 24, 2021

Opinion:

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

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

World:

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

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

Floating solar farm (Sembcorp Industries Ltd courtesy image)

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

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

Renault EVs (Image courtesy of Renault)

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

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

Construction on solar array (R Power image)

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

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

Battery storage (Image by Cater Jonas)

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

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

Wind farm (Enel Green Power image)

US:

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

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

Sunset at the Gulf (James Lewis, Unsplash)

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

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

Have an absurdly excellent day.

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July 23 Energy News

July 23, 2021

Opinion:

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

Smoke in California (Bruce Warrington, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

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

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

Solar-powered hydropanels (SOURCE image)

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

World:

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

Freight train in India (Anirudh, Unsplash)

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

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

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

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

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

Thermal power plant in India (sheikh sohel, Unsplash)

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

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

Mount Fuji (Manuel Cosentino, Unsplash)

US:

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

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

Colorado (Briana Tozour, Unsplash)

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

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

Have an extraordinarily fulfilling day.

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July 22 Energy News

July 22, 2021

World:

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

Wildfire (Tobias Seidl, Unsplash)

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

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

Typhoon Noru (Image courtesy of NASA)

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

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

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

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

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

Wind farm (Nathan Gonthier, Unsplash)

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

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

Offshore wind turbines (Insung Yoon, Unsplash)

US:

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

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

Salton Sea (Janet Harvey, Heidelberg University via NREL)

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

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

Lake Oroville (California Department of Water Resources)

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

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

Have a pleasantly surprising day.

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July 21 Energy News

July 21, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Scientists Are Worried By How Fast The Climate Crisis Has Amplified Extreme Weather” • Until recently, climate change had been talked about as a future threat. Its frontlines were portrayed as remote places like the Arctic, where polar bears are running out of sea ice to hunt from. But in the past month, it’s been the developed world on the frontline. [CNN]

Flood in the UK (Chris Gallagher, Unsplash)

¶ “The EPA Needs To Reject Louisiana’s Regional Haze Plan Until It Complies With The Clean Air Act” • Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the National Parks Conservation Association, want the EPA to reject Louisiana’s regional haze plan because it doesn’t comply with the Clean Air Act. Louisiana’s plan ignores key sources of pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “City Children Have Better Mental Health And Cognition If They Live Near Woodlands” • City children who have daily exposure to woodland have better cognitive development and a lower risk of emotional and behavioral problems, according to a study published in Nature Sustainability. The study tracked 3,568 adolescents at 31 London schools. [CNN]

Hyde Park, London (V2F, Unsplash)

¶ “The US Army Tried Mobile Nuclear Power At Remote Bases 60 Years Ago, And It Didn’t Go Well” • During the Cold War, the US set up a “portable” nuclear reactor in Greenland. It failed. Nearly 60 years after the PM-2A was installed and the ML-1 project abandoned, the US military is exploring portable land-based nuclear reactors again. [Tech Xplore]

World:

¶ “Zhengzhou: Twelve Dead And Thousands Evacuated In China’s Floods” • Massive floods in central China caused by record-breaking rainfall have left twelve people dead and more than 100,000 evacuated from their homes. More than a dozen cities in Henan province, including Zhengzhou, its provincial capital, are affected. [BBC]

Zhengzhou, before the flooding (Hao Zhang, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Projects Could Help G20 Find 22% Of 2030 Targets” • According to strategy consultancy EY-Parthenon, around 13,000 renewable energy projects in nearly 50 countries are waiting for finance. If these projects were to be carried to fruition, they could provide massive reductions in pollution, and create millions of jobs. [Consultancy.uk]

¶ “Chinese Brands Could Soon Take Over From Japanese Brands As The Most Popular Vehicles In Africa – Here’s Why” • An EV made by Great Wall Motors is at second place in one of the most popular vehicle segments in South Africa. This is significant. Consumers are starting to trust Chinese brands that are relatively new in this market. [CleanTechnica]

Xpeng EV (Xpeng image)

¶ “ReNew Power Wins 200 MW In MSEDCL Solar Auction” • ReNew Power announced that it has won a 200-MW Interstate Transmission System solar generation project in an auction conducted by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited. ReNew Power is India’s leading renewable energy company. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Bangladesh’s Upper Court Tells Government To Get Serious About Renewables” • The High Court of Bangladesh responded to a Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association petition that seeks to protect the country’s wetland habitats by directing the government to prepare a master plan to make the nation 100% powered by renewables. [PV Magazine]

Chittagong landscape, Bangladesh (Tahsin Islam, Unsplash)

¶ “Peru’s Latest Renewable Energy Project Approvals Top 1 GW” • Renewable energy developers in Peru have received initial clearance to access the electricity transmission system with projects for a combined 1,071 MW. BNamericas learned that grid coordinator COES approved pre-operation studies for two solar parks and two wind farms. [BNamericas]

US:

¶ “Wildfire Smoke From The West’s Massive Blazes Stretches All The Way To The East Coast” • The huge Bootleg Fire in Oregon has scorched an area larger than Los Angeles, and it’s only 30% contained. It’s just one of the many blazes raging in the West. Eighty wildfires are considered large, and the effects of the fires stretch all the way to the East Coast. [CNN]

Sunset (Irina Iriser, Unsplash)

¶ “Police Departments Invest In Teslas To Save Fuel Costs” • At $47,740, the price tag of the new Tesla is considerably less than a Ford Police Interceptor, which runs around $58,000. EVs also have advantages in costs for fuel and maintenance. It should be no surprise that police departments across the US are buying Teslas. Even in Oklahoma. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Longroad Completes 200-MW Arizona Solar” • Longroad Energy completed its 200-MW Sun Streams 2 solar project in Arizona and closed term financing for the asset. Longroad owns 100% of the project after acquiring it from its original developer, First Solar. CIBC was the coordinating lead arranger, collateral agent, and issuing bank. [reNEWS]

Sun Streams 2 solar project (Longroad Energy image)

¶ “Charging Infrastructure Analysis Leverages NREL Data Science Expertise” • Leveraging its data science expertise and its modeling and analysis tools, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is helping the California Energy Commission plan the number of EV chargers needed to meet the state’s ambitious vehicle and climate goals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Governor Cuomo Announces $52.5 Million Available For Community Solar Projects For Underserved” • Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced the Inclusive Community Solar Adder program. It is to make $52.5 million available for community solar projects that support disadvantaged communities and underserved New Yorkers. [NYSERDA]

Have a shockingly copacetic day.

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July 20 Energy News

July 20, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “About Those Killer Floods In Europe – We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!” • The Guardian and the New York Times are running stories about how global heating may be playing a role in those “nobody alive has ever seen anything like this” floods that brought massive destruction and killed more than 150 people in Europe recently. The floods should be no surprise. [CleanTechnica

Earth (NASA image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Argument For Switching Off Lights At Night” • It is estimated that between 100 million and one billion birds die every year from flying into buildings in the US, with artificial lights thought to play a major role in the death toll. But the effects of light pollution on the natural world is thought to be far greater still. [BBC]

World:

¶ “United Invests In Swedish Electric Airplane Startup” • Swedish electric airplane startup Heart Aerospace says its ES-19 will be ready to begin commercial service on flights of 250 miles or less by 2026. Unites Airlines agreed to buy 100 ES-19 electric aircraft from Heart and anticipates having them in passenger service use before the end of the decade. [CleanTechnica]

Heart ES-19 (Courtesy of Heart Aerospace)

¶ “Toyota And Panasonic Joint Venture Plans To Cut Battery Costs By 50%” • In 2020, Toyota and Panasonic formed a joint venture called Prime Planet Energy & Solutions to manufacture advanced lithium-ion batteries. PPES said in a recent statement it expects to lower the cost of batteries by 50% by the end of next year, according to Inside EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Opibus Builds First Fully Electric African Mining Vehicle” • Opibus has been doing electric vehicle conversions, focused on creating products tailored for the region with quality, price, and local production in mind. But now, the Kenyan electric vehicle company has unveiled one of Africa’s first fully electric vehicles for the mining sector. [CleanTechnica]

Electric conversion of a Toyota (Opibus image)

¶ “World-Leading Certification System Guarantees ‘Renewable’ Hydrogen” • Speaking at the Queensland Smart Energy Summit, Minister for Energy, Renewables, and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said partnering with the Smart Energy Council’s zero-carbon certification scheme would bring further investor confidence to the state. [Mirage News]

¶ “Global Investors Pump Hundreds Of Billions Into Renewables In Shift From Fossil Fuels” • Despite the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the top global debt and equity investors have continued to pour capital into the renewable energy sector, accelerating their race away from the climate-related risks posed by fossil fuel assets. [Renew Economy]

Wind turbine (Marten Bjork, Unsplash)

¶ “Mainstream Unveils 1-GW Chile Solar, Wind Platform” • Mainstream Renewable Power has unveiled a 1-GW hybrid renewable energy platform in Chile. The Nazca Renovables platform consists of six projects, three of wind and three of solar PVs, divided into three portfolios. They build on Mainstream’s 1.3 GW of earlier projects in Chile. [reNEWS]

¶ “National Grid To Lose Great Britain Electric Grid Role To Independent Operator” • The British government plans to strip National Grid of its role keeping Great Britain’s lights on as part of a proposed ‘revolution’ in the electric grid driven by smart digital technologies. National Grid has been managing the grid in England, Scotland, and Wales. [The Guardian]

Power lines (Matthew Henry, Unsplash)

¶ “Kazakhstan is the Recognized Leader of World Anti-Nuclear Movement” • The First President of Kazakhstan closed the Semei nuclear test site on August 29, 1991. It was the beginning of the country’s anti-nuclear movement. These measures then became an important decision that brought considerable benefits to the development of the country. [The Astana Times]

US:

¶ “Oregon Bootleg Fire: Evacuations As Largest Us Fire Burns 300,000 Acres” • In Oregon, the nation’s largest active wildfire has burned through more than 300,000 acres. The Bootleg Fire has prompted thousands of evacuations. Since it started on 6 July, it has already scorched an area larger than the city of Los Angeles. [BBC]

Forest fire (Matt Howard, Unsplash)

¶ “Solar And Wind Provide 99.9% Of New US Power Capacity In April, 93.9% In May” • Solar power and wind power continue to dominate new power capacity additions in the US. Almost 100% of new power capacity additions in April came from solar and wind, and 94% of new power capacity additions in May came from solar and wind. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Report: 30 Million Solar Homes Would Create 1.77 Million Jobs, $69 Billion In Energy Savings” • An ILSR report finds that installing rooftop solar panels and community solar systems to serve the equivalent of 30 million American homes would create significant economic benefits while addressing the climate crisis and historic inequities. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar system (Vivint Solar, Unsplash)

¶ “Biden Clean Energy Plan Key To Restoring Industry Job Losses, Says US Official” • The US energy sector lost 10% of its workforce last year due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a DOE report. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Biden’s plan is an opportunity to revitalize the energy industry and provide jobs. [Reuters]

¶ “Judge Approves Distribution For Settlement Of $ 192 Million” • Investors who lost their property in the failure of a costly reactor construction contract in South Carolina will soon reach $192 million under a recently approved distribution. The utility abandoned the project in 2017. Customers have already lost $2 billion on it. [Pennsylvania News Today]

Have a cleverly entertaining day.

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July 19 Energy News

July 19, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “BBC: Electric Cars Will Be “Biggest Revolution In Motoring” Since 1913″ • Many observers forecast a transition to electric cars much sooner than expected. Now, BBC is joining the fray. “What makes the end of the internal combustion engine inevitable is a technological revolution. And technological revolutions tend to happen very quickly.” [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E (Adrian N, Unsplash)

¶ “How We’re Getting More Solar On Rooftops Across The Country” • The US goal of decarbonizing the power sector by 2035 implies a need to green the grid rapidly. To reach that goal, we need to install more rooftop solar PV systems. Unfortunately, we are still in the dark ages when it comes to permitting. A new program, SolarAPP+, addresses that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Time Is Now To Convert Japan’s Electricity Supply Core To Renewables” • We call on those who are drafting the Japanese government’s basic energy plan not to take the easy route to the revival of nuclear power, but to focus on building a system for a stable electricity supply using renewable energy to the greatest extent possible. [The Mainichi]

Solar farm (Nuno Marques, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Patent Application Is Process To Extract Lithium From Clay Minerals” • Tesla has applied for a patent to extract lithium from a clay mineral and its composite elements. Since the 1990s, lithium has been at the forefront of many technological changes thanks to the commercialization of lithium-ion batteries and the devices they power, including EVs. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is The Number 1 Electric Car In Germany In June” • The German plugin vehicle market scored over 64,000 registrations last month, with sales rising fast. Plug-in hybrid car sales were up 191%, year over year, to 31,314. Battery electric vehicle sales were up 312% YOY to 33,420 cars. Last month’s plugin share ended at 24%. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Kona charging (Ed Harvey, Unsplash)

¶ “Making Electric Cars ‘Normal’ In Australia” • The government of New South Wales is budgeting half a billion dollars to support battery electric vehicles. As well as generous incentives for the public and businesses to purchase BEVs, they are now planning “driving experience days.” This is similar to an approach taken by the government of the UK. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rolls-Royce Attempting 100% Electric Aircraft Speed Record, Jaguar I-PACE Offering Ground Support” • Rolls-Royce has been a familiar name in the very early electric aircraft market. Its fully electric aircraft, Spirit of Innovation, is about to attempt a new top speed record for an electric aircraft. It is aiming to fly at over 300 mph (480 km/h). [CleanTechnica]

Spirit of Innovation and Jaguar I PACE 5 (Rolls Royce image)

¶ “Wärtsilä To Deliver 100 MW Of Energy Storage For Pivot Power Projects In The West Midlands” • Wärtsilä will supply 100-MW / 200-MWh of energy storage systems to Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables, for its next two projects in the England’s West Midlands, to support the roll-out of Pivot Power’s Energy Superhub model. [PV Magazine]

¶ “Equinor Confirms Scottish Floater Bid” • Norwegian energy developer Equinor confirmed it has bid to develop a floating offshore wind farm in the ScotWind leasing round organised by Crown Estate Scotland, while a joint venture of BP and EnBW has bid for up to 2,900 MW. BP said it would make Aberdeen a global offshore wind center of excellence. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Equinor/Oyvind Gravas/Woldcam)

¶ “Saipem Launches Offshore Energy Green Hydrogen Plan” • Saipem has launched a technological solution for the offshore production of green hydrogen. The technology that is used to manufacture green hydrogen also can enable the conversion of oil and gas offshore facilities, which have now reached the end of their life cycle, for green purposes. [reNEWS]

¶ “G20 Urged To ‘Get Serious About Renewables'” • Officers from companies in the wind industry, including Ørsted, Siemens Gamesa, and Vestas called on G20 members to show leadership in the climate crisis by raising national ambitions and urgently laying out concrete plans for increased wind energy production to replace fossil fuels. [reNEWS]

Rotor installation (GWEC image)

¶ “No Longer Economically Rational To Build Gas Peakers In Australia” • With the growth of renewables and storage, the Integrated System Plan 2020 of the Australian Energy Market Operator doesn’t see a role for gas to replace old coal plants. The Clean Energy Council also said it is not economically rational to build gas peaker plants. [Energy Storage News]

US:

¶ “Extreme Heat Could Kill Nearly All Young Salmon In The Sacramento River, Officials Say” • California officials are warning nearly all juvenile chinook salmon in the Sacramento River could die due to abnormally hot underwater conditions as heat waves continue to bake the West. Salmon need cool water, and are being hit by heat and drought. [CNN]

¶ “Tacoma’s Shiloh Baptist Church Leads The Charge To Bring More Renewable Energy To Its Community” • Shiloh Baptist Church in Tacoma unveiled a 19.78-kW solar system funded in part by a $50,000 grant from Tacoma Power. The solar system was installed by Sphere Solar Energy, the only minority-owned solar firm in the region. [The Suburban Times]

¶ “Armed Guards Protect Tons Of Nuclear Waste That Maine Can’t Get Rid Of” • Just a few miles south of Wiscasset, Maine, thousands of tons of nuclear waste are stored at the site of the decommissioned Maine Yankee nuclear power plant. Securing the waste is an ongoing task that requires armed guards around the clock. [Bangor Daily News]

Have an enchantingly easy day.

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July 18 Energy News

July 18, 2021

World:

¶ “Green Transport Can Only Succeed With A Greener Grid” • To decarbonize the UK’s roads, railways, and flight paths, more clean energy is needed. Senior energy industry sources warned that the UK’s ambitious targets to drive down carbon emissions from the transport sector will require an acceleration of green investment in the energy system. [The Guardian]

London bus (Josh Mills, Unsplash)

¶ “Nissan Announces £1 Billion EV Hub – EV36Zero” • Nissan is pumping in a considerable chunk of coin to try to regain its leadership position for EVs. Nissan chose Sunderland, where it produces the LEAF, to host its “flagship Electric Vehicle Hub,” EV36Zero. This hub is intended to launch a “360-degree solution for zero-emission motoring.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Eviation Rolls Out 100% Electric Airplane Alice’s Production Version” • A production version of Eviation’s Alice electric plane has been finalized. Eviation is approaching the runway! Its first flight is planned for this year, and the goal remains to deliver the first customer planes in 2022. Electric planes can cut the cost of flying planes by 90%. [CleanTechnica]

Eviation Alice electric plane (Image courtesy of Eviation)

¶ “Colombian Dairy Boosts Energy Savings With Onsite Solar Park” • Colombian dairy producer Lácteos la Esmeralda had energy savings of up to 36% after installing a 669-kW ground-mounted solar park. The Lácteos la Esmeralda’s plant consumed an average of 220 to 260 MWh per month, which was a major expense. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “X Shore Electric Boat Dubbed ‘Tesla Of The Sea'” • Writers at CleanTechnica have covered a few exciting-looking electric boats over the years. The newest one to cross our lighthouse is the X Shore Eelex 8000. Tech journalist John Koetsier called it “the Tesla of the sea.” Aside from being 100% electric, the X Shore Eelex 8000 is a “smart boat.” [CleanTechnica]

X Shore Eelex 8000 (Courtesy of CNW Group/BCI Marine)

¶ “Power Minister Rejects CEB Plan, Insists On 70% Renewable Energy Sources” • The Ceylon Electricity Board’s 20-year Long-Term Generation Expansion Plan has been turned down by Power Minister Dulles Alahapperuma, the Sunday Times learned. The Power Minister insists that the plan’s target must be 70% renewables by 2030. [Sunday Times]

¶ “LG Electronics To Transition To 100% Renewable By 2050” • LG Electronics said it will shift to renewable energy for 100% of its needs by 2050. Its had previous pledged to go carbon neutral by 2030. LG said the transition will begin at its North American headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey, which will run on 100% renewables by year’s end. [The Korea Herald]

LG Electronics’ rooftop solar farm in New Jersey. (LG Electronics)

¶ “Hydrogen: Australia’s New Liquefied Natural Gas” • Australia aims to be a leading producer and exporter of renewable “green” hydrogen by 2030. In response to the climate change challenge, Australia is emulating its own earlier LNG export success in order to position itself for a new role as a major hydrogen producer and exporter. [Atlantic Council]

¶ “Scientists Predict More Extreme Weather Events In Future” • Over 100 people are dead and many more are reported missing after deadly floods swept large parts of western Germany. Such devastating floods have not been seen in decades. Meteorologists warn, however, that extreme weather events are likely to become much more familiar in future. [DW]

Storm damage (EU image)

US:

¶ “Tesla Is Inviting Its Energy Customers In California To Join Its Virtual Power Plant” • Tesla is inviting its Energy customers in California to join Tesla’s Virtual Power Plant and help stabilize the grid. Virtual power plants aggregate the capacities of energy resources and enhance power generation along with trading or selling power on the power market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Planning For An ‘Uncertain’ Future, Cambridge Unveils Climate Resilience Plan” • The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts released a report, the “Resilient Cambridge Plan,” detailing the effects climate change has already had on the the city and offering suggestions to increase resilience and preparedness in the future. [The Harvard Crimson]

Charles River (Michael Baccin, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Launches Megapack Order Page And Pricing” • Tesla has launched a new order and pricing page for its Megapack, which provides utility-scale energy storage. Tesla had been only selling them business to business. Today, however, pretty much anyone who wants one can order a Tesla Megapack. That is, anyone with the wherewithal to do it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “American Airlines Commits To Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets By 2035” • American Airlines announced that it is the first North American carrier to seek validation from the Science Based Targets initiative, a collaboration that includes CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, and the World Wide Fund for Nature. [Simple Flying]

American Airlines jet (Ross Sokolovski, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Now Offers FSD Subscription For $199 To Eligible Owners” • Tesla is now offering a Full Self-Driving subscription monthly package for $199. This gives Tesla owners a monthly option instead of just an upfront payment of $10,000. Note that the software suite is not quite to “Full Self-Driving” yet. That is its eventual target. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In Energy Bill, Manchin Seeks To Strike Compromise In Crucial Chunk Of Biden Infrastructure Deal” • A $6 billion credit program to help keep struggling nuclear plants in business is just one of a host of things in a $100 billion infrastructure bill being considered by the US Senate. Senator Joe Manchin, D-WVa, is taking stands on the bill. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Have preposterously productive day.

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July 17 Energy News

July 17, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Advanced Clean Fleets Rule Could Transform California” • The Advance Clean Fleets rule promises to be an essential step to eliminating fossil fuel truck pollution. But as proposed by the California Air Resources Board, it  does not go far enough and would only result in a fraction of the trucks being zero emission by 2045. It needs improvement. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a truck (Image courtesy of Greenlots)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Industrialized Offshore Floating Wind Turbine Foundation Demonstration Project Is A World’s First” • The TetraSpar full-scale demonstration project is the first industrialized system for building and deploying offshore wind turbine foundations. The foundation is fully modular, and can be assembled relatively easily at the port grounds. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind-Assisted Ship Propulsion Can Transform Marine Transport” • Answering the call for a greening of the shipping sector, a new generation of engineers and entrepreneurs is working on feasibility of several efficient wind-assisted ship propulsion devices and the full integration with vessel trading operation and financing models. [CleanTechnica]

Maersk Pelican, with wind-assisted ship propulsion (Wikipedia)

World:

¶ “German floods: How a country was taken by surprise” • Prof Hannah Cloke, a hydrologist who set up and now advises the European Flood Awareness System – an EU program designed to provide early warnings of dangerous floods – said alerts were sent to authorities in Europe over the weekend. Some authorities failed to relay warnings to people, however. [BBC]

¶ “Record Rainfall Leaves Over 120 Dead In Western Europe, Devastating Parts Of Germany” • Catastrophic flooding has killed more than 120 people in western Europe, with hundreds more missing, authorities said. Large-scale rescue efforts continue amid rising water, landslides, and power outages. Entire villages are underwater in Germany and Belgium. [CNN]

Damage from flooding (Rhein-Erft District Bereg Köln)

¶ “Azerbaijan Oil Company Examines Floating Wind Benefits” • Azerbaijan state oil company Socar is cooperating with Technip Energies on offshore sustainable energy development, including a joint pilot project for floating wind turbines. The pilot project envisages energy supply for upstream operations in the Caspian Sea, Socar said. [reNEWS]

¶ “Volkswagen Plans To Up Its EV Game” • Volkswagen is upping its EV game again. This week, it revealed its New Auto strategy, which envisions half of all sales to be EVs by 2030. A company press release speaks of €1.2 trillion in expected sales by 2030. The plan includes a focus on “mechatronics,” whatever the heck that is! [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.4 (Image from vw.com)

¶ “Germany To Install No Offshore Turbines In 2021” • No new offshore wind turbines will be installed in Germany this year, for the first time in 10 years, according to German industry groups. The expansion gap is not an expression of a lack of interest from investors or a lack of strength from industry, but a consequence of political decisions, the groups said. [reNEWS]

¶ “Solar Supporters Split Over How To Make Electricity Grid Fairer” • In March, the Australian Energy Market Commission proposed a change to give network providers the power to charge people who export electricity into the grid at times when it is not needed. It argued this would make the system fairer. The proposal has proved divisive. [The Guardian]

Solar array (Sungrow EMEA, Unsplash)

¶ “India Sets Target Of 450 GW Of Renewable Energy Capacity By 2030: RK Singh” • Union Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy Shri Singh informed that India has already touched 200 GW of demand even when the effects of COVID-19 was still there. He said India has taken on a target of 450 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. [Devdiscourse]

US:

¶ “Drought In The Southwest Could Be Making Monsoon Flooding Worse” • Monsoon rains brought extreme flash floods to the Southwest this week, with scenes of vehicles bobbing down neighborhood roads like rafts on class three rapids. Experts say the historic Western drought is to blame, making the soil less like a sponge and more like pavement. [CNN]

Monsoon clouds (Chaz McGregor, Unsplash)

¶ “Pipeline Operator Kinder Morgan To Buy Kinetrex Energy In Green Energy Push” • Pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Inc said it would buy renewable natural gas developer Kinetrex Energy from an affiliate of Parallel49 Equity for $310 million to expand into green energy. The company is being pressured by investors to do more about climate change. [Reuters]

¶ “NYC Buying Seven Electric Garbage Trucks” • Garbage trucks, with straightforward and clear range requirements and a lot of stopping and starting as they operate, are almost perfect vehicles to have be EVs. The New York City Department of Sanitation is going to order seven electric garbage trucks from Mack Trucks, a Volvo Group subsidiary. [CleanTechnica]

Electric garbage truck (Volvo Group image, cropped)

¶ “DOE, Storage Provider Highview Power Argue Long-Duration Storage Should Be Re-Evaluated” • Governments and utilities need to rethink the way they evaluate long-duration energy storage projects to make them more economical, according to officials from the Department of Energy and energy storage companies who were on a panel. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Eastern Idaho Nuclear Reactor Project Downsized” • The Carbon-Free Power Project was to build a set of 12 small modular nuclear reactor with a total capacity of 600 MW. Planners have reduced the size of the project down to six module reactors that could produce 462 MW total. The project’s 28 participants have committed to a total of 103 MW. [Post Register]

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July 16 Energy News

July 16, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Protecting The Next Generation” • Climate change has been ignored in the Australian media (controlled by Rupert Murdoch) until recently. Now it is being mentioned, but highlighting the danger and provoking fear. Our young may be bombarded by horrific scenes of heatwaves, fires, and floods. That is something we have to be careful about. [CleanTechnica]

Sunrise in Australia (pexels & pixabay, free to use, CC0)

¶ “US Infrastructure Bills: Do They Meet The Moment?” • After years of talk about investing in infrastructure, it looks like we’re on the verge of legislation to address past neglect. But we can’t just repair what’s there and move on. We need to retool the system support solving two other crises: climate change and community inequity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU Push To Green Shipping Is Positive But Risks Locking In Fossil Gas” • The EU has proposals to make the shipping sector finally pay for its pollution and to start using cleaner maritime fuels. But the world’s first “green” fuel mandate for the sector would actually boost the use of one fossil fuel, according to green group Transport & Environment. [CleanTechnica]

Wind-powered cargo ship (Image courtesy of Vale)

World:

¶ “Reports: Tesla Model Y Long Range Sold Out In US Until 4th Quarter, Made-In-China Tesla Model Y SR Sold Out Until Sept” • One Tesla watcher heard from sources that the made-in-China Model Y Standard Range RWD may be sold out for August. And Teslarati reports Tesla’s Model Y Long Range Dual Motor has sold out for Q3 2021 in the US and Canada. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “At Least 80 Dead And Hundreds Unaccounted For In German Floods” • At least 80 people have died and hundreds more are unaccounted for in Germany after some of the worst flooding in decades. Record rainfall in western Europe caused rivers to burst their banks, devastating the region. Political leaders have blamed the flooding on climate change. [BBC]

Schuld, 2009 (Ramessos, released into the public domain)

¶ “Shell Starts Trading Power From Europe’s Largest Battery” • Europe’s largest battery storage project, the 100-MW system in Wiltshire is fully operational. Controlled and optimized by Shell-owned Limejump, the battery will help balance UK electricity demand, providing a day’s electricity for up to 10,000 homes before being recharged. [PV Magazine]

¶ “Formula 1 Boss Ross Brawn Says Hydrogen Could Be Future Fuel” • Hydrogen-powered cars could be the future of Formula 1, according to F1 managing director for motorsports Ross Brawn. “Maybe hydrogen is the route that Formula 1 can have where we keep the noise, we keep the emotion, but we move into a different solution,” Brawn told the BBC. [BBC]

Formula 1 car (Abed Ismail, Unsplash)

¶ “Developing Nations Release Five-Point Plan Demanding Climate Funding Before COP26” • Nations most vulnerable to impacts of global warming called for rich countries to live up to their promise to finance the fight against climate change. Dozens of countries highlighted a “worrying lack of urgency” from G7 and G20 countries. [Firstpost]

¶ “Shell, ScottishPower Submit ScotWind Floater Bids” • Shell and ScottishPower joined forces to bid in the ScotWind leasing round to develop large-scale floating offshore wind farms in the north-east of Scotland. The partnership said it has submitted proposals to Crown Estate Scotland for the leasing round, which closed for submissions on 16 July. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (ScottishPower image)

¶ “French Battery Startup Verkor Raises $118 Million In Funding Round” • French battery startup Verkor has announced that it raised $118 million (€100 million) in a recent financing round. The financing round was co-led by EQT Ventures and Renault Group, with participation from the French government and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japan Mulls Extending Maximum Reactor Lifespan Beyond 60 Years” • Japan is considering extending the maximum service period for its nuclear reactors beyond 60 years due to expected public opposition to the construction of new plants, sources close to the matter said. But such an extension could spur concerns about the safety of aging reactors. [The Mainichi]

Ikata nuclear plant, August 2006 (ja, CC-BY-SA 2.5)

US:

¶ “This California Firefighter Has Been On The Job 25 Years. He’s Seen Firsthand How Wildfires Have Worsened” • Fire Captain Dennis Smith is in his 25th fire season with CalFire, and he has seen fighting fires change over time. The temperatures are hotter. The fire seasons are several months longer. The blazes are bigger, and there are more of them. [CNN]

¶ “US Consults On Grid Reforms” • The changing resource mix will create new demands for grid expansion, so the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is seeking public comment on viable reforms to improve transmission planning and generator interconnection processes as the country transitions to more renewable energy sources. [reNEWS]

Transmission lines (sxc image)

¶ “Wildfires Have Scorched Almost 1 Million Acres Across 12 States” • About 1 million acres have been scorched in 71 large fires or complexes across 12 states, the National Interagency Fire Center said on its website. In Oregon, the massive Bootleg Fire – the country’s largest wildfire – has already charred more than 220,000 acres. [CNN]

¶ “The Baltimore region can be a renewable energy leader. These initiatives aim to get it there” • Many governments and private sector industries are setting a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan has committed to a goal for the state of 50% renewable energy by 2030. Baltimore could be a leader. [Technical.ly]

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July 15 Energy News

July 15, 2021

World:

¶ “EU Unveils Ambitious Climate Package As It Cools On Fossil Fuels” • Last month, the EU enshrined in law its target to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, but now it has unveiled an aggressive 10-step program, titled “Fit for 55.” It is a roadmap for how the EU will achieve the reduction, and it looks to be fundamentally transformative. [CNN]

Wind turbines (RawFilm, Unsplash)

¶ “Korean Palm Oil Giant Stripped Of Sustainability Status” • The BBC had earlier found evidence that a Korean palm oil giant had been buying up tracts in Asia’s largest remaining rainforests in the Indonesian province of Papua. Now, the Korindo group has been rejected from the world’s leading green certification body in the wake of that investigation. [BBC]

¶ “GE To Expand Canadian Blade Factory” • GE Renewable Energy is partnering with the governments of Canada and Quebec for the expansion of its wind turbine blade facility in Gaspe, Canada. The parties announced their plans to jointly invest in the expansion of the facility at an event attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. [reNEWS]

Blade manufacturing (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “SK Innovation Wants To Rebrand From Carbon To Green” • SK Innovation, Korea’s first oil refining company and now its top oil refinery and chemical company, has a plan to change its corporate identity “from carbon to green.” The company made the announcement at its SK Innovation Story Day, which was held in Seoul, South Korea. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Singapore Inaugurates One Of The World’s Largest Floating Solar Farms” • Singapore inaugurated one of the world’s largest inland floating solar PV systems, developed by Sembcorp. The PV array has 122,000 solar panels on more than 110 acres. It has a capacity of 60 MW, and it is providing all power for the city’s waterworks system. [The Maritime Executive]

Sembcorp solar farm in Singapore (Sembcorp image)

¶ “Coal-Based Power Generation Rising As Renewables Fail To Keep Pace With Demand Growth: IEA” • The world is witnessing a sharp rise in the use of coal-based power as renewables are not expanding quickly enough to satisfy a strong rebound in global electricity demand this year, according to the International Energy Agency. [Energy News]

US:

¶ “Oregon And Washington Enter Top Preparedness Level As The Largest US Wildfire Scorches The Region” • Washington state and Oregon have moved into the highest level of wildfire preparedness as the largest wilfire in the US burns hundreds of thousands of acres. Now, the Oregon National Guard is fighting the Bootleg Fire, which was 5% contained. [CNN]

Wildfire (Malachi Brooks, Unsplash)

¶ “Joe Manchin Says He Finds Reconciliation Proposals On Climate Change ‘Very, Very’ Disturbing” • Senator Joe Manchin, the Democrats’ most pivotal swing vote, expressed his most serious concerns yet about one key element in their party’s $3.5 trillion economic plan: Progressive provisions dealing with climate change. [CNN]

¶ “In 2020, US Coal Production Fell To Its Lowest Level Since 1965” • US coal production was 535 million short tons in 2020, down 24% from the amount mined in 2019 and the lowest level of coal production in the US in any year since 1965. Both exports and domestic coal use declined as coal has continued to lose its ability to compete. [CleanTechnica]

Coal Production (US Energy Information Administration)

¶ “California Budget Approves Historic Clean Transportation Investments” • California’s budget includes unprecedented levels of investment in clean transportation. The funding will provide significant support for zero-emission vehicle and infrastructure programs, unlocking billions in public health, climate, and jobs benefits for all Californians. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Meet eWolf, The Little Zero-Emission, Diesel-Killing Tugboat Taking On Big Oil” • Leading US maritime firm Crowley has just announced it will build a tugboat named eWolf, which will be the first all-electric, zero-emission tugboat to ply the waters of the US. It is just one of three new diesel-reducing moves introduced by Crowley this year. [CleanTechnica]

Electric tugboat (Image courtesy of Crowley)

¶ “SCE Launches Program For 38,000 EV Charging Stations In Southern California” • Organizations in Southern California can now sign up to join Southern California Edison’s Charge Ready program. It is the largest electric passenger vehicle charging infrastructure program in the nation run by an investor-owned electric utility company. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy Department Seeks To Cut Cost Of Energy Storage, Boost Renewables” • The DOE is trying to decrease the cost of energy storage by 90% within a decade in an attempt to boost clean energy use. “We’re going to bring hundreds of gigawatts of clean energy onto the grid over the next few years,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said. [The Hill]

DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm (TechCrunch, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Less Coal, Lower Bills: Evergy Customers Make Demands Following Utility’s ‘Sustainability’ Plan” • Evergy’s plan to spend over $8.9 billion updating its infrastructure is too expensive and doesn’t focus enough on moving the electric utility away from coal power, says the consensus of hundreds of members of the public who commented. [Kansas Reflector]

¶ “NW Energy’s Proposed Gas-Fired Plant Disappoints Montana Cities Seeking All-Green Power” • Three Montana cities had an understanding that NorthWestern Energy would help their citizens go to 100% net renewable electricity by the end of this decade. But the utility is proposing to build a 175-MW gas-fired power plant. [Missoula Current]

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July 14 Energy News

July 14, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “New Republican-Only Conservative Climate Caucus Light On Science, Heavily Pro-Fossil Fuels” • A Conservative Climate Caucus has been formed with a roster of roughly 60 members. Their website is light on content, but it has enough to make a few early assessments. Their actions may pleasantly surprise me one day, but the start is inauspicious. [CleanTechnica]

Green landscape in a fog (Guy Bowden, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Standard Lithium Explains Its Direct Lithium Extraction Process” • Standard Lithium, near the border of Arkansas and Louisiana, shared a tour of its LiSTR Direct Lithium Extraction plant. Project engineer Will Smith explained in a guided tour on YouTube how the company built an operational, industrial-scale demonstration plant. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Record Month For Electric Vehicles In France! Tesla Model 3 Firmly At #1” • In June, the French plugin vehicle’s share of the country’s overall auto market reached 19% (11% battery electric vehicles). France set a record with 37,408 registrations of plugin vehicles, pulling the year-to-date share to a record 16% (7.9% BEV), up from 11% in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World at Peak Fossil Fuel Generation As Emerging Markets Adopt Renewables: CEEW Report” • Electricity generation by fossil fuels has peaked worldwide as emerging markets turn to low-cost renewables, according to a report published by India’s Council on Energy, Environment, and Water and the financial think tank Carbon Tracker. [The Weather Channel]

¶ “Australia’s Grid To Be Ready For Periods Of 100% Renewables By 2025 To End Asset Constraints, AEMO Boss Clarifies” • By 2025, the Australian grid needs to be capable of handling 100% renewable energy penetrations at any given time, the CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator, Daniel Westerman, told audiences in Melbourne. [pv magazine Australia]

Daniel Westerman (AEMO and CEDA)

¶ “German 2030 Power Use Forecast Up Due To Heat Pumps, E-Cars And Hydrogen” • The German energy ministry increased the country’s estimated power needs in 2030 to meet needs of increased e-car uptake, the higher power consumption of more heat pumps, and considerably higher estimates for hydrogen production in the future. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “PepsiCo Achieves Renewable Its Energy Goal In Mexico” • PepsiCo, Inc announced it has achieved its goal of using 100% renewable energy across all operations in Mexico, its second largest market. The announcement comes less than a year after the company reached a similar milestone in the US, PepsiCo’s largest market. [Food Business News]

Wind turbines (PepsiCo, Inc)

US:

¶ “Car Dealers Are Going ‘All-In’ On Electric Cars” • Electric cars aren’t coming, they’re already here. That was the message sent by the Biden administration’s EV charging bill and Ford’s all-new, all electric F-150 Lightning pickup. And America’s franchise car dealers get it loud and clear, National Auto Dealers’ Association President Mike Stanton said. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wildfires In California This Year Have Scorched 3 Times More Land Than In The Same Period Of Last Year” • California had its worst fire season in 2020, with around 4.1 million acres burned, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. So far this year, fires have burned 142,477 acres in the state, 103,588 more acres than in the same period last year. [CNN]

Airplane fighting a wildfire (Ben Kuo, Unsplash)

¶ “Hanover OKs A Power-Sourcing Plan And Keeps Its Town Manager” • The residents of Hanover, New Hampshire, voted overwhelmingly by show of hands to adopt a community power plan during Town Meeting. The plan gives municipal officials the ability to contract and bid for the energy needs of about 2,500 residential customers. [Valley News]

¶ “San Diego International Airport Goes To 100% Renewable Electricity” • San Diego International Airport may be the home base for an enormous amount of emissions from all the airplanes flying in and out, but the airport itself is becoming one of the greenest when it comes to its electricity supply. It will soon have a 100% renewable energy supply. [CleanTechnica]

San Diego International Airport (Jeff Robins, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “New Solar Farm In Bethel Brings State Near Renewable Energy Goal” • At a ribbon cutting at Hofstee Solar Farm in Bethel, New York, Lt Gov Kathy Hochul said, “We have three gigawatts of solar installed across the state. That is a milestone we hoped to achieve. Three gigawatts of solar is enough to power half a million homes.” [Spectrum News]

¶ “Electric Airplanes For The Masses” • Emissions from the aviation industry are helping to fry the planet, but some people are actually trying to prevent things from getting worse. In the latest news, United Airlines has just signed an electric airplane deal that could bring zero emission flight to the masses, just in the nick of time. [CleanTechnica]

United Airlines electric airplane (United Airlines image)

¶ “Enel Acquires 3200-MW US Solar Portfolio” • Enel Green Power North America has acquired a 3200-MW portfolio of solar and solar-plus-storage projects spread across the US from Dakota Renewable Energy. The 24 development-stage projects include 450 MW of storage capacity. They are planned to be operating commercially beginning in 2023. [reNEWS]

¶ “GOP Representatives Are Demanding Special Treatment For A California Nuclear Plant” • Rep Devin Nunes and the other ten House Republicans from California filed a bill aiming to force their state to keep open a controversial nuclear power plant. Environmental activists have long warned Diablo Canyon is on seismic fault lines. [The American Independent]

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July 13 Energy News

July 13, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “To Fight Ecocide, We Have To Criminalize It” • As we face the urgent crises of climate and extinction, we need every tool we can get, including the law. By identifying “ecocide” as a crime that can be prosecuted, as a panel of 12 lawyers proposed to the International Criminal Court, we can have a practical framework for tackling these emergencies. [TheHill]

Thunderstorm in Arizona (NOAA image, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Vision Sees Better Than Radar” • Not only did Tesla completely remove radar from Full Self Driving (FSD), but beta testers are now using the newest software that doesn’t have radar and they are raving. WholeMarsBlog tweeted that when he tried it on the highway for the first time, it was even better than the radar fusion system. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “What Is Happening To The Greenland Ice Sheet?” • The Greenland Ice Sheet is losing mass at an alarming rate, a study published in the journal Nature has shown. A team of scientists discovered that the current rate of melting is likely to be the highest of the last 12,000 years. By studying the history of such events, they can see implications. [CleanTechnica]

Water from melting Greenland ice (Paul Bright, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Squad Mobility, A Fleet Of Shared Solar City Cars – This Changes Everything” • A product of Squad Mobility, a startup in the Netherlands, might actually be the ultimate solution to the first/last-mile transportation issue. It is a small, affordable, low-speed car with a solar panel as it’s roof and a battery that can just be swapped out. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Technology Boosts Efforts To Curb Tree Loss In Amazon” • Technology can help indigenous groups to curb deforestation significantly, a study shows. Indigenous people living in the Peruvian Amazon were equipped by conservation groups with satellite data and smartphones. They were able to reduce tree losses by half in the first year of the project. [BBC]

On the Amazon, Peru (Deb Dowd, Unsplash)

¶ “Australian Government Tries To Duck Its Responsibility. How Does Minister Sussan Ley Care?” • In Australia, the High Court decided to hold the federal government to account. The federal environment minister must exercise a duty of care for Australia’s young people to protect them from effects of CO₂ emissions. She cared enough to appeal the decision. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “50-GW Renewable Energy Development Is Unveiled For Western Australia” • An international consortium unveiled plans for a 50-GW solar and wind project which could produce 3.5 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen or 20 million tonnes of green ammonia annually. The project is to be built in Western Australia’s Goldfields-Esperance region. [H2 View]

Leonora, in Goldfields-Esperance (Bahnfrend, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “UAE’s Masdar To Develop 440 MW Of Solar Projects In Uzbekistan” • Masdar, based in Abu Dhabi, will develop two power plants in public-private partnerships, building its presence there, the company said. Masdar has the country’s first 100-MW PPP solar project. That is only a part of the solar projects Masdar has planned for Uzbekistan. [S&P Global]

¶ “Enel Inks 104-MW Spanish Wind And Solar Offtake” • Enel Green Power has signed a pan-European virtual power purchase agreement with Johnson & Johnson for the output from 104-MW of renewable energy capacity located in Spain. The 10-year VPPA is for the supply of 270 GWh a year, from wind and solar plants, and will begin in January 2023. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in Spain (Enel image)

¶ “Solar Power Eclipses Nuclear Energy In Terms Of Costs” • For businesses looking ahead to reduce costs, solar power seems to be the way to go. Households could possibly benefit as well. A new estimate by the industry ministry on future costs of power generation found that solar power will eclipse nuclear energy in terms of costs as of 2030. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “Western Wildfires Have Burned An Area 4 Times The Size Of NYC. Here Are Some Key Fires” • The National Interagency Fire Center says 55 large fires have burned over 768,000 acres across 12 states. The acreage, about 1,200 square miles, is about four times the area of New York City. So far this year, over 1.8 million acres have burned in 33,491 fires, the NIFC says. [CNN]

Bootleg Fire (Oregon Fire Marshall)

¶ “Western US Expecting Another Day Of High Temperatures As Over 18 Million Remain Under Heat Alerts” • Western states face another sweltering day in a record-breaking heat wave. The heat will cover southeast Oregon, northern California, the Mojave Desert, eastern California, and parts of Nevada and Utah, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said. [CNN]

¶ “Boeing, Alaska Airlines, And NOAA Team Up To Measure Greenhouse Gases Mid-Flight” • Boeing, Alaska Airlines and NOAA have teamed up to test the use of commercial aircraft to collect data on greenhouse gases. Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program has been researching promising and innovative technology since 2012. [CleanTechnica]

Airplane measuring greenhouse gases (NOAA image)

¶ “Climate Change Is Destabilizing The City Of Chicago. Who Knew?” • Chicago is a tribute to the indomitable human spirit that starts with the premise that people are smarter than nature. Where Chicago stands today was once a swamp. Today, climate change changes water levels so much that the city floods much more than if it were coastal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York To Explore Green Hydrogen For Decarbonization Goals” • New York Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced that the state plans to explore the potential role of green hydrogen as part of its decarbonization strategy. The state is collaborating with NREL and providing $12.5 million for long duration energy storage technologies. [Energy Live News]

Have a gloriously accommodating day.

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July 12 Energy News

July 12, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “Experts Are Close To Generating A New Form Of Renewable Energy From Water” • Splitting water molecules to make green hydrogen requires large amounts of energy. New research suggests, however, that instead of having to use large amounts of power, the same results can be achieved using more effective and energy-efficient catalysts. [TechRadar]

Water (YUCAR FotoGrafik, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Major Names Establish Net-Zero Insurance Alliance” • Allianz, Aviva, AXA, Generali, Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re, and Zurich Insurance Group have teamed up to establish the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, which is convened by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative. [Insurance Business America]

¶ “Škoda Enyaq Jumps To #1 In Netherlands” • The Dutch plugin vehicle (PEV) market is still in the fast lane, as 8,821 registrations were logged last month. Last month’s PEV share of the passenger auto market was 26% (18% battery electric vehicles, BEV), pulling the year-to-date PEV share to 20% (10% BEV) and the total tally to 32,079 units. [CleanTechnica]

Škoda Enyaq iV (Škoda image)

¶ “Super Set To Build Hybrid Power Plant” • Super Energy Corp plans to develop Thailand’s first hybrid renewable power plant with a “firm” power purchase agreement. The project has a capacity of 49 MW of on-ground solar PVs, with back-up power from a 1-MW biogas-fired power plant and a 136 MWh energy storage system. [Bangkok Post]

¶ “New Greek JV Targets 750-MW Solar Drive” • Macquarie’s Solar player Cero Generation and Wattcrop, a Greek renewables outfit, have set up a joint venture aiming to develope 750 MW of PV projects in the Greek market in the next four years. They will first co-develop Wattcrop’s existing portfolio of more than 480 MW of early-stage projects. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (APPA, Unsplash)

¶ “Project Finance Brief: Doral Energy Acquires 360 MW Of Solar Projects In Denmark” • GreenGo Energy Group, based in Denmark, said it had sold a portfolio of 360 MW of subsidy-free solar projects to Israeli developer Doral Renewable Energy Resources Group under a partnership agreement. The projects are in an early development stage. [Mercom India]

¶ “Red Rock And Eni Form ScotWind Team” • Red Rock Power and Eni formed a partnership in preparation for a joint bid for Transmission Investment in the upcoming ScotWind offshore leasing round. The companies said they will also consider future renewable opportunities in Scotland and combine wind farm development and offshore expertise. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Carl Raw, Unsplash)

¶ “UK Needs Tougher Policies, More Public Awareness To Hit Zero Emissions, Report Says” • Britain must introduce tougher policies to make residential heating more efficient, and the UK’s consumers need to cut energy usage to meet the nation’s target of net zero emissions by mid century, according to a report from the National Grid. [Reuters]

¶ “Robots Come To The Rescue After Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster” • When three reactors failed at Fukushima Daiichi, hot fuel melted and burned through steel walls and concrete floors. To this day, no one knows exactly where in the reactor buildings the fuel is. It is so deadly, no human can go inside to look for it, so robots will do the job. [CBS News]

Robot, but not the type to be used (Marius Haakestad, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Biden’s Clean Energy Plan Would Cut Emissions And Save 317,000 Lives” • A Biden administration plan to force the rapid uptake of renewable energy would swiftly cut greenhouse gas emissions and save hundreds of thousands of lives, a report found. There is growing pressure on the White House to take major action on the climate crisis. [The Guardian]

¶ “Wildfires Rage In Western States As Temperatures Soar” • In the West, wildfires are raging as a heatwave has brought record temperatures. Some Communities have been told to evacuate as firefighters struggle to battle the blazes in the extreme heat. Fires knocked out interstate power lines, and California residents were told to reduce power use. [BBC]

California wildfire (Truckee Meadows Fire & Rescue)

¶ “New Recycling And Energy Storage Plan Claps Back At Wind Turbine Critics” • The wind turbine recycling issue is a bit of a red herring. Nevertheless, public policy and consumer demand are starting to steer the global economy into a more sustainable, circular form, making wind turbine blade recycling a priority. The DOE is making progress on that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fort Lauderdale Considers A Bid From The Boring Company” • Traffic congestion in South Florida is a mess, and it is getting much worse, very fast. Recently, The Boring Company, Elon Musk’s brainchild that specializes in digging traffic tunnels to ease surface congestion, approached the city of Fort Lauderdale with a proposal. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla in a tunnel (Image courtesy of The Boring Company)

¶ “Bill Helps Utilities Shutter Coal Plants And Transition To Renewable Power” • Missouri utilities will be able to shutter more coal plants, speeding a transition to renewable energy, under a bill signed by the governor. The bill allows utilities to refinance debt they issued to build coal plants and close the facilities early without a financial hit. [The Joplin Globe]

¶ “Governor Murphy Signs Bills To Advance New Jersey’s Clean Energy Future” • Governor Phil Murphy signed a package of bills aimed at advancing New Jersey’s transition to clean energy. The bills further the goal of 100% clean energy by 2050. They will increase solar development and facilitate the installation of EV charging infrastructure. [Insider NJ]

Have an abundantly satisfying day.

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July 11 Energy News

July 11, 2021

World:

¶ “Extreme Heat Cooked Mussels, Clams And Other Shellfish Alive On Beaches In Western Canada” • The devastating heat wave that ravaged British Columbia last week is being blamed for a massive die-off of mussels, clams and other marine animals that live on the beaches of Western Canada. The animals were exposed to the heat at low tide. [CNN]

Mussels (Gil Ndjouwou, Unsplash)

¶ “Volvo Group, Daimler, And Traton Group Pump Up Heavy-Duty Truck Charging” • Three top commercial vehicle makers, Volvo Group, Daimler Truck, and Traton Group, have reached an agreement to “install and operate a high-performance public charging network for battery electric heavy-duty long-haul trucks and coaches across Europe.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UN Report: Indigenous Lands Protecting Biodiversity Are Being Threatened By Incursions” • A report conducted by the UN found that Indigenous Peoples’ food systems are the most sustainable. But climate change and incursions into Indigenous lands threaten tribal food systems and our planet’s well-being, Inside Climate News reported. [CleanTechnica]

Inuits sharing frozen walrus (Ansgar Walk, CC-BY-SA 2.5)

¶ “Egypt’s President Al-Sisi Directs For Maximized Use Of Renewable Energy” • Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has directed for the maximized use of renewable energies, during a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker, according to a presidential spokesperson. [Daily News Egypt]

¶ “Bac Lieu Prioritises Renewable Energy” • The Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu has made renewable energy a top priority, aiming to move the economy toward sustainable development and green growth. The province proposed that the Government of Vietnam leave the Cai Cung coal-fired power plant complex out of its power development plan. [VietnamPlus]

Windpower in Vietnam (Tony Pham, Unsplash)

¶ “President Says No More Coal Power” • President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has shot down the setting up of any coal power plants, saying he has vowed to shift Sri Lanka towards renewable energy and does not want to be a joke before the world. The decision puts a proposed 300-MW extension of the Norochcholai Lak Vijaya plant in jeopardy. [Sunday Times]

¶ “Liberal Government Calls For Proposals For Low-Cost Renewable Energy Projects” • Nova Scotia gets considerable amounts of wind and sunshine, and the Liberal government has a plan to harness more of both as renewable energy sources. Premier Iain Rankin announced a request for proposals to attract low-cost and innovative energy. [SaltWire]

Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia (Tobias Negele, Unsplash)

¶ “Japan’s Plutonium Stockpile Climbs To 46.1 Tons In 2020, First Rise In 3 Years” • Japan was in possession of a total of some 46.1 metric tons of plutonium at home and abroad as of the end of 2020, the Cabinet Office reported to the Japan Atomic Energy Commission. The amount represents an increase of about 0.6 tons from the previous year. [The Mainichi]

US:

¶ “US Heatwave: California And Nevada Brace For Record-Breaking Temperatures” • Extreme heat is building in the West, with forecasts of record-breaking temperatures in California and Nevada. The new heatwave comes after the region experienced the hottest June on record. California’s Death Valley recorded a high of 54.4°C (130°F) on Friday. [BBC]

Death Valley (Julien Cavandoli, Unsplash)

¶ “Risk Managed? New Report Finds Chemical Disaster Risks From Climate Change” • The Union of Concerned Scientists, Earthjustice, and the Center for Progressive Reform released a policy brief estimating the risks posed by natural disasters, made worse by climate change, to Risk Management Program facilities and the surrounding communities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fire Lookouts: The US Forest Service Lookouts Watching For Fires” • As many of us struggled to adapt to home working and isolation during the coronavirus pandemic, the few remaining fire lookouts of the US Forest Service often live and work for weeks at a time on their own, scouring the horizon for any hint of smoke from remote lookout towers. [BBC]

Inside a lookout tower (Jason Rost, Unsplash)

¶ “Ten US Cities Get Low-No Grants To Help Buy Proterra Electric Buses” • The US Federal Transit Administration offers “Low or No Emission Program Grants” to buy electric buses and related technology. Proterra has announced that ten different transit agencies have just been awarded Low-No grants to buy Proterra technology. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “LIPA: Green Energy To Dominate LI Electric Grid By 2030” • According to a timeline released by the Long Island Power Authority for meeting state mandates to retire the region’s fossil-fuel power plants by 2040, nearly 70% of Long Island’s electricity will be generated by renewable sources including wind and solar energy by 2030. [Newsday]

Have a downright upbeat day.

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July 10 Energy News

July 10, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “How The American South Is Paying The Price For Europe’s ‘Green Energy’” • In 2009, the EU pledged to curb greenhouse gas emissions, urging its member states to shift from fossil fuels to renewables. It classified biomass as a renewable energy source, on par with wind and solar. This incentivized burning a lot of wood from America’s southern states. [CNN]

Clearcut forest (roya ann miller, Unsplash)

¶ “How Fossils Move To Block Local Climate Action” • Local governments are making progress on protecting their people and environment. In some states, state politicians, sponsored by the fossil-fuel and utility industries, are taking that ability away from them. An insight brief from RMI examines state pre-emption of local clean energy policies. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is 100% Renewable Energy Feasible For Entire Countries? Why, Yes Actually” • We asked 22 experts in renewable energy, engineering, and energy systems about the feasibility of going to 100% renewable energy. Most agreed that 100% renewable energy was feasible. All agreed that a big shift away from fossil fuels is not only feasible but essential. [ScienceAlert]

Wind farm (RawFilm, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Lebanon Struck By Power Cut As Major Plants Shut Down” • Both of Lebanon’s main power plants shut down when they ran out of fuel, plunging much of the country into a blackout. This is the latest in a crisis that has seen people receive just two hours of electricity a day. At the root of the problem is a lack of foreign currency to pay for imported fuel. [BBC]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Deliver Turbines For Lithuanian Wind Farms” • Danish wind developer European Energy has selected GE Renewable Energy as the supplier for three wind farms in northern Lithuania. Two of the farms, one in Telsiai and one in Rokiskis, will have 34 GE Cypress onshore wind turbines totaling 187 MW. [Power Engineering International]

GE Cypress turbine (GE image)

¶ “India’s Tata Power To Focus On Renewable Energy, Add 15 GW Of Capacity” • The Chairman of Tata Power has announced that his company will add 15 GW of renewable energy capacity over the next few years. The company currently has 1.8 GW of solar and wind energy capacity operational, with another 373 MW under development. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mainstream Energises 571-MW Condor Project In Chile” • Mainstream Renewable Power has fully energised its 571-MW Condor portfolio, which is the first phase of the company’s 1350-MW Andes Renovables wind and solar power platform in Chile. The Condor portfolio has started supplying energy to Chile’s National Electricity System. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Mainstream image)

¶ “Bridgestone To Use Renewable Electricity Sources To Power Four Domestic Tire Plants” • Bridgestone says it has switched all the electricity sourced from external providers to renewable energy sources such as hydro, geothermal, solar, and wind at four of its tire plants in Japan: Hikone, Kitakyushu, Shimonoseki, and Tosu. [Tire Technology International]

US:

¶ “Last Month Was The Hottest June On Record For The Lower 48 States” • Heat that set records in the Southwest was followed by heat that smashed records in the Pacific Northwest. Those events converged to make last month the hottest June on record for the Lower 48 states, the NOAA reported. The previous hottest June was in 2016. [CNN]

Colorado River at Fort Collins (Stefan Rodriguez, Unsplash)

¶ “The West Is Caught In A Vicious Climate Change Feedback Loop” • After climate change fueled a deadly heat wave in the Pacific Northwest in June, historic heat threatens records once again. As temperatures climb to the triple digits, the sun will bake out what little moisture there is in the ground, worsening the West’s unprecedented drought. [CNN]

¶ “Renewable Energy Continues Growth Across The Islands” • In 2020, something interesting happened in Hawai‘i’s energy scene: More than 30% of all power generation came from renewable sources, surpassing the Renewable Portfolio Standards goal set by state law for the year. In fact, Kauai’s independent co-op utility ran at over 60% renewables. [Hawaii Public Radio]

Rooftop solar system (Hawaiian Electric Company)

¶ “Green Hydrogen Game On For NY And Archrival NJ” • No sooner does New Jersey let slip that it has a new green hydrogen pilot project in the works, when here comes archrival New York right across the river with a whole truckload of green hydrogen news. And in both states, this is real green hydrogen, made with no fossil fuels in the mix. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Is Inflaming A Long-Simmering Conflict Over Water In The Klamath River Basin” • The West is drying out as the region faces an unprecedented drought. Few places are as devastated as the Klamath Basin. Straddling the border between California and Oregon, the watershed spans 12,000 square miles. Its water is a source of conflict. [CleanTechnica]

Klamath River, 2010 (Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives)

¶ “Tesla Energy, Brookfield, And Dacra Are Developing A Large-Scale Sustainable Neighborhood In Austin, Texas” • Tesla Energy, Brookfield Asset Management, and Dacra are creating SunHouse at Easton Park, Brookfield announced. This is the first Tesla Solar neighborhood and will be America’s most sustainable residential community, the companies said. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Another Extreme Heat Wave In The West Threatens All-Time Highs” • A life-threatening heat wave is underway for the third time since the beginning of June. It is not expected to be quite as unprecedented as last week’s Pacific Northwest heat wave, but records will be challenged in major cities like Las Vegas, Fresno, and Redding, California. [CBS News]

Have an acceptably magnificent day.

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July 9 Energy News

July 9, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change Is About Greed. It’s Time For Big Oil To Pay Us Back” • Four interconnected pieces of climate change-related news from the past two weeks reveal America’s predicament. And they also show the way forward, which ultimately must include oil companies’ paying restitution for damage that they have done to the climate and humanity for decades. [CNN]

Pollution (Cristi Goia, Unsplash)

¶ “Strategic Tax Credits To Decarbonize Buildings” • To meet Biden’s ambitious climate goals of cutting GHG emissions by 50% by 2030, we must construct only zero-carbon buildings and retrofit roughly 4 million buildings each year to be all-electric, super-efficient, and grid-interactive. We must also power our buildings with clean energy. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wireless Charging – Get On The Bus” • Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated their wireless charging technology on an autonomous electric vehicle for the first time in a project with Local Motors, using that company’s Olli shuttle bus. The technology includes both wireless and wired charging systems. [CleanTechnica]

Local Motors’ Olli shuttle bus (Carlos Jones, ORNL, US DOE)

¶ “Methane: A Threat To People And Planet” • Methane is out of control and we need to manage it to protect people and the planet. This main component of natural gas is vastly more potent warming agent than CO₂ over short timeframes, is accompanied by highly toxic chemicals, and when leaked can be a major health and safety hazard. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Volkswagen And BMW Fined $1 Billion For Emissions Cartel” • The European Commission fined Volkswagen Group and BMW $1 billion for colluding with Daimler to avoid competition on nitrogen oxide cleaning technology. This delayed development of technology that could have reduced harmful emissions from their vehicles. [CNN]

BMW engine (Julian Hochgesang, Unsplash)

¶ “It’s ‘Inescapable’: Pacific Islanders Have Tried To Flee The Climate Crisis, Only To Face New Threats” • At least 57% of the infrastructure in the Pacific Islands will be threatened by rising sea levels during this century, a UN report says. Many Pacific Islanders leave their home islands to escape climate-related issues, but climate change is inescapable. [CNN]

¶ “Wind, Solar Growth 50% Larger Than Anytime In History” • Wind and solar energy capacity increased by 238 GW in 2020, 50% more than at any time in history, according to a report from BP. The 2021 ‘BP Statistical Review of World Energy’ said that wind, solar, and hydroelectric generation all grew last year, even though overall energy demand fell. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Vasilios Muselimis, Unsplash)

¶ “Even Qatar Ordering Electric Buses Now! (And Finland)” • Here is a story about two orders for electric buses. Neither order is extraordinarily large, but the interesting point isn’t the size of the orders. One is for ten buses to be delivered to Qatar, which depends on oil. The other is the first order for Finland, a country known for cold winters. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “You Can Now Get The Renault K-ZE In Ghana!” • A lot of African countries have low motorization rates. This presents an opportunity for another leapfrog event similar to the mobile phone revolution. The transition might not be driven as it could be elsewhere, by traditional dealerships and franchises, but by independent importers. [CleanTechnica]

Renault K-ZE (Image courtesy Renault)

¶ “SBI Has Provided ₹319.18 Billion In Renewable Energy Project Finance As Of FY 2021” • The State Bank of India, one of India’s largest public sector banks, declared results for the financial year 2020-2021, which said the bank approved over ₹319.18 billion ($4.26 billion) in renewable energy project finance in India as of March 2021. [Mercom India]

¶ “Eight Renewable Energy Projects Under Construction In Australia” • Global wind and solar capacity will double over the next four years and exceed that of both gas and coal, according to an International Energy Agency report. The IEA anticipates an increase in wind and solar of 1,123 GW, so they would overtake gas capacity in 2023 and coal in 2024. [Energy Matters]

Wind turbines (Raimond Klavins, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Charge It! Preparing Your Hometown For Electric Transit” • On July 28th, the webinar Charge It! Preparing Your Hometown for Electric Transit will host a variety of speakers with a focus to help rural towns and smaller communities solve the challenges they face on electrification. The webinar is free to attend. The article has a link to register. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maine Bans Offshore Wind From State Waters” • Governor Janet Mills, who supports offshore windpower, signed a law to permanently bar offshore windpower from Maine waters in a compromise with lobstermen. The ban is the first of its kind in the US, where fishermen have been among the most strenuous objectors to the developing industry. [E&E News]

Block Island Wind Farm (Gary Norton, NREL)

¶ “US DOE Drops $52.5 Million Green Hydrogen Bomb On Natural Gas Lobby” • Hydrogen can be green, but almost all of the hydrogen in today’s market comes from natural gas, a big contributor to global warming. Well, it appears that the US DOE is determined to settle the question of where it comes from, and so far green hydrogen is winning. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nuclear Cost Overrun Could Mean Billions In Extra Georgia Power Profit” • Consumers may end up paying for billions in cost overruns on the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion. But Georgia Power’s profit from the project is tied largely to how much it spends, not whether it stays within budget. So it will make more money regardless. [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Have a properly grand day.

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July 8 Energy News

July 8, 2021

Science and Technology:

¶ “US-Canada Heatwave ‘Virtually Impossible’ Without Global Warming” • The searing heat that built up western Canada and the US in June was “virtually impossible” without climate change, say scientists. An international team of 27 climate researchers who are part of the World Weather Attribution network did the study, which has not been peer reviewed yet. [BBC]

Lytton, BC, after the fire (CBC image)

¶ “UCLA Researchers Pinpoint Onset Of Human Influence On Climate” • A UCLA study published in Nature Communications shows that abnormally heavy rain and snowfall events since as early as the 1980s are intensifying globally due to human-driven climate change. The study shows the human influence across a variety of water issues. [Patch]

¶ “Pathfinder Satellite Paves Way For Constellation Of Tropical-Storm Observers” • Planned for launch in 2022, the TROPICS satellites will work together to provide near-hourly microwave observations of a storm’s precipitation, temperature, and humidity, a revisit time for these measurements not currently possible with other satellites. [CleanTechnica]

Cyclone (NASA image)

World:

¶ “The Growing Gulf Rivalry That’s Pushing Up Oil Prices” • A bitter public rift between the UAE and Saudi Arabia over oil production quotas caused talks between the world’s biggest oil-producing nations to be abandoned and left energy markets in limbo, pushing oil prices to a six-year high. The problem arose because the UAE wants to pump more oil. [BBC]

¶ “The BMW i4, iX, And iX3 Are Coming To South Africa!” • With success of earlier EV models, BMW South Africa is now introducing the all new BMW i4, the iX, and the iX3. The BMW i4 M50, which is “the first fully-electric BMW with the typical M performance,” according to the BMW website, should really do well in this part of the world. [CleanTechnica]

BMW i4 (Image courtesy BMW)

¶ “Gujarat Government To Tesla: Here’s 1,000 Acres To Set Up A Plant” •The Gujarat government is offering Tesla 1,000 acres of land to set up a plant in India, News18 reports. The location of the land is both inside and outside of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones in Mundra. It’s also the home of the largest private port in India. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar+Battery Project Has Victorian Town On Target For 100% Renewables” • Yackandandah, a small town in northeast Victoria, is one step closer to being powered by 100% renewable energy with the state’s first behind-the-meter, community-owned solar PV and battery energy storage system added to the community’s power generating strategy. [pv magazine Australia]

Renewable transport in Yackandandah (Phillip Flores, Unsplash)

¶ “South Africa Green Energy Projects Can Plug Power Supply Gap” • About 184 “shovel-ready” renewable energy, storage, transmission, and distribution projects could collectively add 10.3 GW of capacity to plug the South African electricity supply gap and increase its total generation capacity by about 18%, a study by EY-Parthenon shows. [IOL]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy’s LM Wind Power Produces 44,444th Blade In India” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it made its 44,444th wind turbine blade at LM Wind Power’s wind turbine blade manufacturing sites in India. These blades have been made in the two factories located near Bangalore, Karnataka and in Vadodara, Gujarat. [Evwind]

Wind turbine blade manufacture (GE image)

¶ “Glass Packaging Industry Goes Electric, Adding To Growing Demand For Renewable Power” • Unlike the steel and cement industry, the glass sector has a clear path towards decarbonizing its processes: electrification. Yet renewable electricity is scarcer than the industry would like, raising concerns about its ability to meet EU climate goals. [EURACTIV.com]

US:

¶ “Biden Administration Ramps Up Environmental Justice Investment” • The EPA announced a $50 million increase in funding to enhance air pollution monitoring and improve air quality in disadvantaged and low-income communities. The new fund come as the agency ramps up spending on environmental justice initiatives. [CNN]

President Joe Biden (Gage Skidmore, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Biden Pushes For ‘Generational Investments In Human Infrastructure’ In Speech In Illinois” • President Joe Biden pushed for generational investments in human infrastructure to expand the social safety net, asserting that he’ll continue to make the case for his plans “until the job is done.” He pushed policies of the American Families Plan. [CNN]

¶ “Ørsted Announces Bid To Expand Skipjack Wind Farm” • Ørsted said it has submitted a bid to the Maryland Public Service Commission to develop Skipjack Wind 2, with a capacity of 760 MW. The Danish green energy company is already developing twelve General Electric Haliade-X 12-MW turbines off the coast of Ocean City, Md. [Delaware Business Times]

Offshore wind turbines (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “California’s Hydroelectric Generation Affected By Historic Drought” • With this year’s harsh drought conditions, we expect hydroelectric generation in California to be low. In the first four months of 2021, hydroelectric generation in California was 37% less than in the same four months in 2020 and 71% less than during those months in 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford “Electrified” Vehicle Sales Grow 117% In June, Mustang Mach-E Sales Up 27% Month Over Month” • Ford has published its June sales report, and it revealed an impressive 117% jump in overall electrified vehicle sales, including hybrids. Mustang Mach-E sales rose by nearly 27% since May, for 12,975 vehicles in the first half of the year. [CleanTechnica]

Have a mind-bogglingly lovely day.

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July 7 Energy News

July 7, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Why North America’s Killer Heat Scares Me” • When he saw North America’s killer heat dome, BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin felt a “gut-tightening sense of foreboding.” It was not because new heat records were set in north-western US and Canada. That happens from time to time. It was because the old records were smashed so dramatically. [BBC]

Vancouver (Mike Benna, Unsplash)

¶ “Oil Companies Know Hydrogen Is A Dead End, But It’s A Handy Way To Hold Back Electrification” • Reasonable minds may differ on the place of hydrogen fuel cells in the clean-energy future, but it’s a fact that the fossil fuel giants have been heavily hyping hydrogen. It’s not hard to see why. Nearly all hydrogen is now produced from natural gas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “No, A Tanker Full Of Fossil Fuels Isn’t ‘Carbon Neutral.’” That’s Not How It Works.” • Shell announced a special “carbon neutral” shipment of fracked gas to Europe. The gas is to be burned, and it will emit CO₂, but Shell and its gas supplier, Cheniere, seem to want the focus to be on shipping in a way that is carbon neutral. You can’t make this up. [CleanTechnica]

Tanker (Image by Sekau67 from Pixabay)

World:

¶ “Ten Million Renewable Jobs Are Waiting To Be Unlocked” • More than 13,000 renewable projects are set to create up to 10 million jobs worldwide and provide $2 trillion (£1.43 trillion) in investment opportunities. That is the key finding from new research by Ernst & Young, commissioned by the European Climate Foundation. [Energy Live News]

¶ “How Flooded Coal Mines Could Heat Homes” • A quarter of the UK’s homes sit above abandoned coal mines, long since flooded with water. Now, the mines are being put to a new, zero-carbon use. A heat pump can easily extract heat from the water, which comes up from the mine at 15°C (59°F), and deliver it to buildings that need it. [BBC]

Getting geothermal heat from old mines (Hunosa image)

¶ “Bringing Batteries To The Helm Of Grid Services” • India’s electricity market has been changing in recent years. With the share of renewable energy increasing, there has been a greater emphasis on reliability and stability of system operations. Such operations were provided with fossil fuels in the past, but now battery use is increasing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Made Of Air, A Berlin Startup, Is Producing Carbon-Negative Thermoplastic From Farm Waste” • Made of Air, a startup based in Berlin, created a carbon-negative thermoplastic, using waste from forests and farms in the area around Berlin. They claim the material is 90% carbon and sequesters two tonnes of CO₂ for every tonne of plastic. [CleanTechnica]

Made Of Air plastic siding on a building (Made Of Air image)

¶ “Hyundai Motor, Kia Pledge To 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • South Korean carmakers Hyundai Motor and Kia will join a global clean energy initiative and will transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050, according to Hyundai Motor Group, their parent firm. The automakers will submit applications to be members of the RE100. [The Korea Herald]

¶ “Carbon Savings From Use Of On-Farm Renewables ‘Must Be Recognised'” • Carbon savings from on-farm renewables must be recognised, the Ulster Farmers’ Union maintains. A government consultation’s aims are net zero carbon, affordable energy, and a 70% renewable electricity by 2030. But the UFU says agriculture is not getting the credit it deserves. [FarmingUK]

UK farm (Kai Bossom, Unsplash)

¶ “Kipeto Wind Farm Reaches Commercial Operation In Kenya” • All sixty of the turbines at the Kipeto wind farm have reached commercial operation and are providing power for the national grid. This makes the project Kenya’s second-largest wind power project. The electricity it generates is enough to supply about 250,000 households. [ESI Africa]

¶ “AGL To Shut Down Gas-Fired Power Unit As Renewable Energy Soars” • Energy giant AGL is preparing to mothball one of four units at South Australia’s biggest gas-fired power station, the Torrens B plant, as the influx of large-scale renewable energy and rooftop solar power continues to price fossil fuels out of the market. [Sydney Morning Herald]

Torrens Island Power Station (Fairv8, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “Louisiana Passed Bill To Allow For Chemical Recycling, AKA ‘Advanced Recycling'” • Louisiana has unanimously passed a bipartisan bill, Senate Bill 97, that will allow advanced recycling. This term, “advanced recycling,” is another name for “chemical recycling.” Recycling plastics instead of making more sounds ideal, right? Not necessarily. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Eleven Energy-Related Inventions From Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Get More Funding” • Eleven energy-related inventions developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are getting additional funding to move them from laboratory and field tests to the marketplace. One example is cement that repairs itself within 24 hours. [CleanTechnica]

Self-healing cement (Andrea Starr, PNNL)

¶ “Dover explores joining Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire” • Dover is exploring joining the Community Power Coalition of NH, a statewide public power non-profit that is set to work out ways for municipalities and counties to collaborate and take control of their electricity supply, according to the nonprofit and Dover officials. [Foster’s Daily Democrat]

¶ “Weeks After Declaring Mission Accomplished, Abbott Orders Further Changes To Texas Grid” • Soon after saying “everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas,” Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Public Utility Commission of Texas to overhaul the state’s electric system, building coal, gas, and nuclear plants. [Houston Public Media]

Have a shamelessly perfect day.

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July 6 Energy News

July 6, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Fund The American Jobs Plan For The Climate Action We Need” • The time for climate action is now. The most important step we can take, as a nation, is for Congress to fund President Biden’s vision for an American Jobs Plan fully, so we can drive equitable recovery with climate action at a time when the nation urgently needs both. [CleanTechnica]

View from Tacoma (Jennifer Uppendahl, Unsplash)

¶ “Exxon Lobbyist Claims Company Has Eleven Senators In Its Pocket” • Ever since Citizens United, politicians don’t even need to listen to their constituents. It’s no surprise that ExxonMobil has lobbyists. What is surprising is to hear one of them state publicly precisely how far the company is willing to go in its efforts to protect its business model. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Red Hot Perovskite Solar Cell Field Just Got Way Redder And Hotter” • Plenty of ink has been spilled on the perovskite solar cell topic of late, and for good reason. Synthetic perovksites are relatively cheap and easy to grow, and their superior optical qualities could be behind a new generation of low cost solar cells. And they’re getting better. [CleanTechnica]

Perovskite in the lab (Science in HD, Unsplash)

¶ “Snøhetta And Saferock Turn Mining Waste Into Zero-Carbon Concrete” • Internationally renowned Norwegian architecture and design company Snøhetta has teamed up with Norwegian startup Saferock to develop a zero-carbon concrete for use in construction. Currently, cement production is responsible for 8% of global carbon emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biomass Demand ‘Could Exceed Sustainable Supply’” • A report produced by the Energy Transitions Commission sets out how the demand for bioresources could outstrip any sustainable supply, undermining climate mitigation efforts and harming biodiversity, unless alternative zero carbon options are rapidly scaled up. [reNEWS]

Biomass plant in Lincolnshire (Eco2 image)

World:

¶ “Extreme Weather Causes Huge Losses In 2020” • A study from the charity Christian Aid lists 10 events with thousands of lives lost and major insurance costs. Six of the events took place in Asia, with floods in China and India causing damages of more than $40 billion. In the US, some $60 billion in losses resulted from record hurricanes and wildfires. [BBC]

¶ “Ten Years Of EU’s Failed Biofuels Policy Wiped Out Forests The Size Of The Netherlands” • Europe’s thirst for biodiesel has likely wiped out forests the size of the Netherlands since the introduction of the EU’s green fuels law in 2010, and has greater CO₂ emissions than the fossil diesel it replaces, a Transport & Environment study shows. [CleanTechnica]

Forest (Johannes Plenio, Unsplash)

¶ “Big $300 Million Battery To Be Built Without Government Aid In Market First” • Victoria will get Australia’s first grid-scale battery built without government support by the end of 2022, according to Lumea, the commercial arm of TransGrid. The array of lithium-ion batteries would be able to supply 580 MWh of electricity. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Scatec Starts Up 55-MW Ukraine Solar” • Scatec has connected to the grid and started commercial operation of a 55-MW solar farm in the Cherkasy region of Ukraine. The Chigirin project has secured a feed-in-tariff payment and is expected to deliver about 64 gigawatt hours per year. The solar plant has a design life of more than 30 years. [reNEWS]

Solar plant (Sungrow, Unsplash)

¶ “More US Support For Polish Nuclear” • The US Trade and Development Agency announced grant funding to Poland’s Polskie Elektrownie Jadrowe for an engineering and design study that will help develop Poland’s first two nuclear power plants, facilitate a transition away from coal-fired power, and strengthen long-term security. [Nuclear Engineering International]

US:

¶ “Florida Is Getting Ready For Tropical Storm Elsa As Drought And Heat Worsen In The West ” • Tropical storm Elsa will be headed to Florida after dumping up to a foot of rain on Cuba. Meanwhile, drought conditions and heat are only worsening in the West. Climatologists say that climate change is clearly a factor in the situation. [CNN]

Drought map released July 1 (droughtmonitor.unl.edu)

¶ “Shell Could Bring EU Green Hydrogen Scheme To US Shores” • After flipping the switch on the biggest green hydrogen plant in the EU, oil & gas giant Shell looks like it could help foster the renewable H₂ revolution here in the US, as well. Global demand for hydrogen has tripled since the 1970s and there is nowhere for it to go but up. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Everything Is Bigger In New Jersey, Including Offshore Wind Power” • New Jersey just laid claim to the biggest-ever combined offshore wind power award in the USA to date. That’s quite a feat for the Garden State. It is one of the country’s smallest states, and it is best known for Jersey tomatoes, a TV show, and an endless stream of weird goings-on. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind lease area map (Image via US BOEM)

¶ “EDF Dropping $2 Million To Push For American Jobs Plan” • One of the best chances for the US to speed up its climate action is the American Jobs Plan. The Environmental Defense Fund is putting $2 million into ad campaigns to try to persuade the public to get more behind the American Jobs Plan and to try to get Congress behind it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NRC Discontinues Preparation For 40-Year Licence Renewals” • The NRC decided to discontinue considerations of regulatory and other changes which would allow NPP operators to apply for 40-year licence renewals. It recommended further evaluations to address the potential for reactor operations that could last for up to 100 years. [Nuclear Engineering International]

Have an absolutely great day.

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July 5 Energy News

July 5, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Green Dreams: Managing The Transition From Rust To Renewables” • Five years after the closure of South Australia’s last coal-fired generators, the Port Augusta region finds itself in the middle of a renewable energy boom. South Australia has a world-leading share of wind and solar, and that share is to jump even higher, as fossil fuel assets decline. [Renew Economy]

Wind turbines (Thorsten Hack, Unsplash)

¶ “Sixty Years Of Climate Change Warnings: The Signs That Were Missed (And Ignored)” • In August 1974, the CIA produced a study on “climatological research as it pertains to intelligence problems.” “The climate change began in 1960,” the report’s first page informs us, “but no one, including the climatologists, recognised it.” [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Tools To Map Genetic Data Improve Marine Protection” • Maps can reveal patterns and relationships and bring together different kinds of information in an easily understandable form, helping us make sense of the world. A paper presents “geospatial genetics” for mapping genetic data so it can more readily support marine protection efforts. [CleanTechnica]

Whale, hard at work (Vipin Kumar, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Tesla And Chinese Startups Outshining Legacy Automakers In Largest EV Market” • Tesla and some Chinese EV startups are outshining such legacy automakers as Toyota and Volkswagen in the world’s largest EV market, The South China Morning Post reported. The article noted that buyers are focusing more on cutting-edge technology. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “France Is Preparing For The Arrival Of Autonomous Driving” • Europe is having a first as France makes preparations for the arrival of autonomous vehicles on its roads. For Europe, this will be a first for its road code and the code of transport. France is leading the way by establishing the regulatory framework for the inevitable: autonomous driving. [CleanTechnica]

Autonomous Driving (Image courtesy of Faurecia)

¶ “BMW Starts iX Production” • BMW’s next fully electric vehicle is now rolling off of production lines in Dingolfing, Germany, the company’s largest production facility in Europe. Production of the BMW iX is getting rolling thanks to investment of over €400 million at the factory. The BMW iX xDrive50 is an electric SUV with a range rating of 600 km. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alpine Nimbyism Freezes Swiss Green Energy Dreams” • Switzerland has a reputation for clean energy. With abundant hydropower, less than 10% of its electricity emits greenhouse gases. But today, Switzerland’s complex regulatory process and local objections to potential eyesores mean new green projects are exceptions rather than the usual. [SwissInfo]

Solar plant at the Muttsee reservoir (Axpo image)

¶ “Renewables Groups Demand Italian Permit Overhaul” • Renewables groups called on the Italian Government to clear a permitting bottleneck by streamlining the consent system. They said Italy needs to add at least 7 GW of renewable capacity every year to meet Green Deal targets but only added 1 GW in recent years due to slow permitting. [reNEWS]

¶ “EuropeWave Project Opens Concept Development Call” • The EuropeWave project is inviting wave energy developers to apply for funding via its pre-commercial procurement program, which is open today and until 21 October. The five-year collaborative program will see several wave energy projects selected for the first stage of ‘concept development.’ [reNEWS]

Wave (Matt Paul Catalano, Unsplash)

¶ “Are China’s Banks Going Cool On Coal Power Plants In Africa?” • Coal developers in Africa may have to find alternative financing sources or shift to renewables, as Chinese lenders shy away from plants burning the fossil fuels, observers say. In recent years, African coal projects worth over $20 billion have been shelved or dropped. [South China Morning Post]

¶ “Statkraft To Support Solar In Africa To Address Energy Poverty” • European developer Statkraft is partnering with the international development charity SolarAid to address energy poverty using solar power in sub-Saharan Africa over the next three years. Statkraft will give $2.7 million in cash and equipment in that time to support SolarAid’s work. [ESI Africa]

Installing solar power (Rural Electrification Agency)

¶ “Punjab Power Crisis Deepens As Another Unit Of Talwandi Sabo Plant Goes Out Of Operation” • One unit of the Talwandi Sabo thermal plant was already under shutdown when a second unit had to be take off line. Now, the plant is generating only 610 MW electricity of the installed capacity of 1980 MW, causing a shortage of nearly 1,200 MW. [Hindustan Times]

US:

¶ “It’s All About The Lithium As GM And Albemarle Place Bets On New Technology” • To make enough batteries to power all the EVs that will be made, auto makers will need a lot of lithium. Most lithium now comes from brine deposits in Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia or from rock deposits in Australia, but sources are being developed in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium extraction (Controlled Thermal Resources image)

¶ “Tesla Wins Most American-Made Car Title” • If you need a little more justification to buy a Tesla, consider this: it’s your patriotic duty. Tesla has always touted its credentials as an American company that’s creating good-quality American jobs, and now independent research confirms that a Tesla is the most American-made car you can buy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Nuclear Reactor Is Proposed For Wyoming. One Small Town Hopes The Plant Will Restore Its Economic Fortunes” • Some towns would balk at the idea of having an experimental nuclear reactor built nearby. Glenrock is not one of them. Facing loss of jobs when a coal-fired plant closes, some people hope it will be chosen as a nuclear reactor site. [Casper Star-Tribune]

Have an unreservedly groovy day.

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July 4 Energy News

July 4, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Can We Trust Our Power Plants To Keep Us Cool During Dangerous Heat?” • In this week’s astonishing temperatures, reliable electricity and the air conditioning it powers were often the only thing keeping dangerous, even deadly heat at bay. But how do different types of power plants actually stand up to the soaring temperatures? [CleanTechnica]

Nighttime image of Texas cities from space (NASA image)

¶ “Living With A Never Ending Climate Emergency” • Looking back on the past few years of gigantic forest fires, temperatures in Siberia hotter than Death Valley, and parched earth because of unprecedented droughts, we can clearly see that Earth’s climate crisis has already caught up with us, and the tipping point is now in our rear view mirror. [CleanTechnica]

World:

“Canada Heatwave: Military On Standby As Lightning Triggers More Wildfires” • The Canadian military is on standby to help evacuate residents in British Columbia where wildfires linked to a record-breaking heatwave threaten communities. Emergency services say they are trying to control more than 170 fires, many triggered by lightning strikes. [BBC]

Lightning (Shlomo Shalev, Unsplash)

¶ “Norway’s Plugin EV Share Hits 85% In June, Combustion Vehicles Falling Rapidly” • Norway saw plugin electric vehicles hit 85.0% share in June 2021, up from 66.3% in June 2020. Non-plugin hybrids and old-school internal combustion engines are all fading away. In June, the Tesla Model 3 was Norway’s overall bestselling vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “38 New EV Battery Gigafactories Planned In Europe” • The gigafactory scene is really heating up in Europe. Government and industry are pushing hard to produce batteries domestically. A report from the non-profit Transport & Environment says that there were 38 battery gigafactories being built or planned in the EU and the UK, as of May 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Rendering of Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory (Tesla image)

¶ “Renewable Energy To Spur Post-COVID Recovery, Create 43 Million Jobs By 2050: IRENA” • The latest analysis report that was released by the International Renewable Energy Agency showcases that the Agency’s 1.5°C pathway foresees the creation of up to 122 million energy-related jobs in 2050, more than double today’s 58 million. [MEP Middle East]

¶ “NTPC, ONGC To Boost Development Of Offshore Wind Energy” • State-run power giant NTPC and upstream oil firm ONGC plan to boost the development of offshore wind energy in India, which has a coastline of about 7,600 km surrounded by water on three sides and has good prospects of harnessing this clean resource. [The New Indian Express]

Wind farm (Mary Ray, Unsplash)

¶ “Taiwan On Its Path Toward Denuclearization” • The Taiwanese government shut down a generator at its Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City on July 1 to prepare for the unit’s full closure. The nuclear generator went online on December 28, 1981. It is being shut down early because the spent fuel pool is nearly at capacity. [Taiwan News]

¶ “Antarctica Hit Record High Temperature In 2020, Scientists Confirm” • Antarctica logged a new high temperature record of 64.94°F (18.3°C) in 2020, World Meteorological Organization scientists confirmed. The UN agency said the previous all-time high for Antarctica was 63.5°F, which was recorded on March 24, 2015, at the same research station. [The Hill]

Antarctica getting warmer (Eamonn Maguire, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “I Testified On The Risks Of Climate Change To The Financial Sector. Here’s What I Said” • The hearing could not have been more timely, as the Pacific Northwest suffers in unprecedented heat, clearly influenced by climate change, and as new evidence emerges of how Exxon has deliberately worked to undercut climate action in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Spending To Help Protect Florida Wildlife Routes, Some On First Coast, Gets DeSantis’ OK” • Work to protect remnants of undeveloped Old Florida got a big-dollar boost this week when Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation steering $400 million into land conservation. Most of its focus is on protecting wildlife migration routes. [Florida Times-Union]

Singing Carolina wren (Ryk Naves, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “Power Outages In New Mexico: Why Now And How To Stay Safe” • Hot days and climate-fueled disasters are the times we need reliable power most, yet all too often, that’s when we have blackouts. Here is why New Mexico is having blackouts, how to prepare and protect your family, and what your elected officials can do to keep the power on. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A $26 Billion Plan To Save The Houston Area From Rising Seas” • In 2014, the Army Corps of Engineers partnered with the state of Texas to study Ike Dike-like alternatives for Galveston Bay. With support from the state legislature, the Corps is getting ready to deliver their recommendations to the US Congress for funding approval in September. [Ars Technica]

Have a powerfully congenial day.

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July 3 Energy News

July 3, 2021

Opinion:

¶ “Decarbonizing Our Supply Chains” • Decarbonizing supply chains and mitigating the environmental footprint of global production are critical for environmental preservation and social stability. Examining the case study of Indian cotton, how will the emission reduction imperative, in turn, protect workers from changing climate? [CleanTechnica]

Cotton field (Trisha Downing, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Cows’ Stomachs Can Break Down Hard-To-Recycle Plastic, Study Finds” • Scientists of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, the Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology and the University of Innsbruck found that some common plastics could be broken down when exposed to gastric juices found in the stomach of a cow. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Canada heatwave: Lightning strikes fuel wildfires in British Columbia” • More than 130 wildfires – fueled by lightning strikes – are burning across western Canada following a record-breaking heatwave. Canada’s federal government said it would send military aircraft to assist emergency services in British Columbia battling to control the fires. [BBC]

Plane dropping fire suppressant (Ben Kuo, Unsplash)

¶ “Blazes Rage In British Columbia” • So far in 2021, British Columbia has already seen dangerous wildfires and heat. More than 40 wildfires were burning across the Canadian province by the end of June 2021, including a cluster of substantial blazes located about 200 kilometers northeast of Vancouver. The one at Lytton was just one of these. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fire Explodes In Gulf Of Mexico From Gas Pipeline Rupture” • “The Gulf of Mexico is … on fire because a pipeline ruptured,” Brian Kahn, the managing editor at Earther, tweeted. He shared a video that looked like it was CGI but wasn’t. Reuters reported that it was started from a gas leak from an underwater pipeline west of the Yucatan peninsula. [CleanTechnica]

Gulf of Mexico fire (Screenshot from tweeted video, cropped)

¶ “NTPC Plans ₹2 Lakh Crore Investment In Renewable Energy” • NTPC, India’s largest power producer, will be investing close to ₹2 lakh crore ($13.4 billion) to ₹2.5 lakh crore over the next ten years for expanding renewable capacity. NTPC recently doubled its renewable power capacity addition target from 30,000 MW to 60,000 MW in 2032. [GreentechLead]

¶ “X Shore Electric Boats, The ‘Tesla Of The Sea,’ Gets Canadian Distributor” • Swedish boatbuilders X Shore recently inked a North American distribution deal with Canada’s BCI Marine. That means that prospective Canadian customers can now book a test-drive or pre-order the all-electric and connected X Shore Eelex 8000. [CleanTechnica]

X Shore boat (X Shore image)

¶ “Shell Starts Green Hydrogen Production In Germany” • Shell started producing green hydrogen at what it said is the largest PEM hydrogen electrolyzer in Europe. The plant uses renewable electricity to produce up to 1300 tonnes of green hydrogen a year. Shell said plans are under way to expand capacity of the electrolyzer from 10 MW to 100 MW. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Cattle Are Competing Against Grasshoppers For Food In The West’s Historic Drought. The Bugs Are Winning” • Against the backdrop of unprecedented heat waves and deadly wildfires, the West’s historic drought has ranchers fighting another problem besides water shortages: A prolific hoard of grasshoppers is competing with cattle for food. [CNN]

Grasshoppers (USDA image)

¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E Outsells Ford Mustang Gasmobile!” • I’m sure that I once asked when the Ford Mustang Mach-E would start outselling the conventional, old-school Ford Mustang, a fairly high seller among cars. Well, June already got us there. We’ll see how the rest of the year goes, but here the numbers from June are uplifting. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Pushes Up Production Start For Brightdrop EV 600 Electric Delivery Van” • General Motors announced the creation of Brightdrop earlier this year. It is a startup focused on bringing electric delivery vans to market. Now, it is speeding up its work. GM anticipates the last mile delivery segment could be worth as much as $850 billion by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Brightdrop EV 600 Electric Delivery Van (GM image)

¶ “ExxonMobil Lobbyists Filmed Saying Oil Giant’s Support For Carbon Tax Is A PR Ploy” • Two senior lobbyists for ExxonMobil based in Washington have described the oil giant’s backing for a carbon tax as a public relations ploy intended to stall more serious measures to combat the climate crisis. They were being secretly taped by Greenpeace. [The Guardian]

¶ “Renewable Energy Projects Create Strong Tailwind For US Steel Demand” • Upcoming investments in renewable energy projects in the US, particularly offshore wind farms, represent a bullish opportunity for the US steel sector, industry executives said. Offshore wind turbines and related infrastructure require multiple forms of steel. [S&P Global]

Offshore wind turbines (Mitchell Orr, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “City Locks In Renewable Energy Supplies For Residents” • City officials announced the launch of Rochester Community Power, which is using the New York state community choice aggregation program to procure power from a supplier on behalf of about 80,000 customers who have accounts with Rochester Gas & Electric. [Rochester City Newspaper]

¶ “Court To Decide Future Of Unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant” • A federal judge could decide the future of one the biggest unfinished construction projects in the US. Former Chattanooga developer Franklin Haney hopes the court will order the TVA to sell him the incomplete Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant even though he never got NRC approval. [Yahoo News]

Have a positively resplendent day.

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