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  1. #576
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Someone is thinking ahead in Looper’s new Government.

    The seven independents want a mechanism to protect emissions target from ‘future governments’ as they signal desire to negotiate

    Independent MPs have outlined a list of measures they want included as part of a beefed-up climate change bill, including a “Dutton insurance” policy that would make it more difficult for future governments to shy away from climate action.

    Following briefings with the climate and energy minister, Chris Bowen, late last week, six newly elected crossbench MPs and the the re-elected Warringah MP, Zali Steggall, have collaborated on a joint position that was communicated to the government on Monday.

    The list of measures came as Bowen said he would be prepared to consider any “sensible suggestions” put forward by the crossbench and the Greens, provided they were in keeping with the government’s mandate.

    The demands from the group of community-backed MPs, who all campaigned heavily on more climate action, include language in the bill specifying that the 43% target is a floor not a ceiling, a ratcheting mechanism to boost emissions reduction targets in the future and the establishment of a joint parliamentary committee that would oversee appointments to the Climate Change Authority.

    Independents Monique Ryan, Sophie Scamps, Zoe Daniel, Kate Chaney, Kylea Tink and Allegra Spender met with Steggall on Sunday to finalise their position.

    Steggall said the three key recommendations, which were drawn from her private member’s bill introduced in 2020, had been shown to work in other jurisdictions such as the UK, and said she hoped the government followed through on its commitment to work collaboratively in the new parliament.

    “There has been a lot of public rhetoric since the election about doing politics differently and being more collaborative and constructive, and being willing to consider constructive amendments,” Steggall told Guardian Australia.

    “We are taking that in good faith and making these suggestions. We are hoping that the government is genuine in its desire to work together for a good outcome, but the proof will be in its response.”

    Steggall said the framework proposed by the crossbench MPs would not stop a future government from repealing the legislation, but prevent a different government from politicising appointments to the Climate Change Authority that determined the government’s direction.

    “We need to be scientifically based when it comes to talking about targets, and we need to have a ratchet mechanism and a mechanism to provide further budgets for future governments – it becomes an insurance policy against future governments,” she said, labelling the measure “Dutton insurance” in reference to the opposition leader, Peter Dutton.

    Tink said the crossbench shared a “number of core principles” in wanting to see the bill include greater ambition on climate change.

    She chalked up an early win for the independents in the government’s shift in language on the 43% target as a floor not a ceiling and called for this to be reflected in the legislation.

    “I think the first win for the crossbench is the fact that the government has changed its language on the 43% target – that shows that they are prepared to listen and take on board the pretty strong feedback they have received,” Tink said.

    “We are very keen to see the 43% clearly communicated [in the legislation] as a floor not a ceiling, and ensuring that there is a ratcheting mechanism in the legislation itself which makes it easier for the government to lift that in the future. We need to make sure that is a minimum.”

    Tink said a parliamentary committee would ensure the legislation was protected into the long term and would keep the primary focus on keeping global warming below the agreed Paris climate goal of a maximum 1.5C.

    She also called on the government not to rush the bill through parliament in the first sitting fortnight, saying while it was good the legislation was a priority, it needed to have longevity.

    “I think what is important with this legislation is to get it right so it not only provides direction and shape for the government for the next three years, but also direction and shape for the parliament until we reach net zero.”

    She raised concern that newly elected crossbench MPs may be forced into the “awkward” situation of having to give up making their first formal speech to parliament – known historically as a maiden speech – in order to speak on the climate bill if the government was determined to rush it through.

    The independent MP for the seat of Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie, said she would support the bill as presented by the government, saying she was “satisfied” with the legislation.

    “It is a good step forward, the government was elected on this platform, let’s see how they are going to deliver it,” she said.

    On Monday, Bowen said he was open to considering amendments to the climate bill, including a ratchet mechanism, which is also being pushed by the Greens.

    “Where a member of the crossbench, whether it be the Greens or another member of the crossbench, has a suggestion, which they think improves the way the government achieves its objectives and its agenda and its mandate, I’ll take that in good faith and work with that,” Bowen told ABC Radio National. “That’s the principle that we’re applying.”


    In other news.......

    A major investment in renewable energy has helped a Gippsland organic dairy farm slash irrigation-related electricity costs from almost $100,000 per year to just $15,000.

    Clydebank dairy farmers Wilco Droppert and Sandra Jefford milk 300 cows. At the height of the last drought they realised their irrigation costs were unsustainable.

    "We were looking at high energy costs … maybe 12 to 14 per cent of our budget," Mr Droppert said.

    "We thought 'Geez, that's a problem. We've got a high carbon footprint and big costs'."

    The couple commissioned a farm energy audit in 2018 and have since installed 150kw of solar generation to run a bore and two pumps to move water out of the dam and to irrigation pivots — which provide water to the paddocks.

    With the help of pumps that can run at varying speeds to match the solar power generation, they've achieved 90 to 95 per cent utilisation of the renewable electricity generated.

    Reducing costs long-term

    More than $1 million was budgeted for the project, which also included other necessary upgrades around the farm.

    The couple received a government grant to help finance the project.

    "This last irrigation season, our total costs for running our irrigation were about $1,200," Ms Jefford said.

    "It was a wetter and cooler year and we didn't need to irrigate as much as we normally would. But in the previous summer, our irrigation costs were about $80,000.

    "For the amount of milk we produce, that just wasn't viable in the long run."

    They hope a more typical irrigation season with the solar installation would result in an energy bill of around $15,000.

    Ms Jefford expects the project to pay for itself in around seven years.

    It also delivers non-financial benefits and the new system, which is controlled from a central computer, also saves them time.

    "Our greenhouse gas emissions are much lower than they were previously, we've got big labour savings, probably about 15 hours a week [and] we get to sleep better because we're not irrigating at night."

    A system with smarts

    The solar panels were installed in a fenced-off section in one of their paddocks.

    The panels face north, west and east to maximise production throughout the day.

    However a computer — which the couple refer to as "the brain" — further helps maximise efficiency.

    "So early in the mornings when there's say 10 kilowatts available, we can utilise the 10 kilowatts on a bore pump through a variable speed drive.

    "That means that we can change loads on any pump that's pumping the water into the dam [up] to the point where we have sufficient power to pump to the pivots, which [requires] roughly 37 kilowatts.

    "As soon as we get past that point, we can switch that extra energy back to the bore pump."

    Big plans for future

    More work is planned, with wind turbines expected to be installed in coming months.

    "We've got a couple of pivots that still use diesel, so we're looking at whether we can get those to be electric and use our renewable energy there," Ms Jefford said.

    "We're hoping we'll be able to run a farm micro-grid in the future, which would mean that our dairy could use the clean power that we're generating here a few hundred meters away.

    "We've [also] ordered an electric side-by-side vehicle, thinking we'll eventually replace our quad bikes that use unleaded fuel."
    Last edited by S Landreth; 23-07-2022 at 02:18 PM.
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  2. #577
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    The Biden administration will pursue the development of offshore wind energy in the Gulf of Mexico, the White House said Wednesday.

    The new proposed offshore wind areas in the Gulf would represent the first time that wind energy is produced in the Gulf, which is typically a hub for oil and gas production.

    According to a White House fact sheet, the areas where it is proposing offshore wind development have the potential to power 3 million homes.

    President Biden will also direct Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to advance wind energy off the mid- and Southern Atlantic Coasts and Florida’s Gulf Coast, though the White House did not announce any concrete plans to develop wind energy in these regions.

    The announcement comes as Biden is set to deliver remarks on climate change in Massachusetts on Wednesday. Biden is facing increasing pressure to act on climate change after swing vote Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) walked away from Senate climate talks this week.

    But progressives are likely to be unsatisfied by Biden’s Wednesday announcements, especially as many are calling for the declaration of a climate emergency.

    Biden is also making announcements aimed at tackling extreme heat, as communities in the U.S. and around the world faced high temperatures this week. Temperatures in Texas and Oklahoma reached 115 degrees on Wednesday, and 28 states issued heat warnings.

    The administration doubled the funding for communities to make themselves more resilient to heatwaves and other climate-related hazards including droughts, wildfires and floods, making $2.3 billion available through a Federal Emergency Management Agency program.

    And the administration is releasing new guidance aimed at helping low income people have access to air conditioning. The new guidance will enable funds aimed at helping low income families with energy costs to be put toward community cooling centers and buying or loaning efficient air conditioners to vulnerable people.


    Germany produced a record amount of electricity from solar on Sunday and is set to exceed that again on Tuesday as a heat wave grips Europe.

    About 38,174 megawatts were generated from solar panels on Sunday and high levels are expected through Wednesday. A fresh record is possible on Tuesday, with a maximum 38,287 megawatts forecast.

    A brutal heat wave is moving into western Europe, baking many areas. Temperatures are set to peak on Tuesday and Wednesday in Germany as the heat begins to ease elsewhere, according to state forecaster DWD. The extreme temperatures are sparking wildfires in Spain, France and Greece.

    “Historic heat is forecast to take hold of parts of western Europe this week, where all-time record high temperatures could be recorded,” Maxar Technologies LLC said in a report.

    The UK may see the highest temperatures ever recorded, with forecasts at London’s Heathrow of 38.5 degrees Celsius (101.3 Fahrenheit) on Monday and 40 degrees on Tuesday. It will hit 42 Celsius in Nantes, France on Monday, also a new record. Paris will have a high of 39 Celsius Monday and 40 degrees on Tuesday, according to Maxar.

    German day-ahead power rose to 397.09 euros ($403.21) a megawatt-hour, the highest since March, on Epex Spot SE. Power supplies are short as warm air reduces wind generation, leaving solar to make up the shortfall.


    The U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday significantly boosted its commitment to replace its aging delivery fleet with more electric vehicles.

    Why it matters: The agency faced a massive backlash from lawmakers, environmental groups and others after announcing in March that it would spend nearly $3 billion on an initial order for 50,000 new mail trucks from Oshkosh Defense — 90% of which would be gasoline-powered.

    • Sixteen states, four environmental groups and the United Auto Workers union sued to block the plan.
    • The Biden Administration and many lawmakers also asked the agency to reconsider.

    Driving the news: The new plan reflects "refinements" based on improvements in the agency's financial outlook and availability of technology, the USPS said in a statement.

    • The agency now says that at least half of the 50,000 vehicles it plans to purchase from Oshkosh Defense will be battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
    • In addition, the Postal Service said it will purchase another 34,500 vehicles from other manufacturers, "including as many BEVs as are commercially available."
    • Of the total 84,500 vehicles to be purchased, more than 40% will be electric.

    What they're saying: “Public pressure is working," said Joe Britton, executive director of the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA).

    • "Today’s commitment to acquire at least a 40% electric fleet shows that the Postal Service understands the strategic disadvantage it would create for itself if it were to just rely on gas-powered vehicles for decades to come."
    • "Fleet electrification will deliver massive climate, economic and health benefits to the American people — and provide significant cost savings to the Postal Service itself."


    • Amazon's new electric Rivian delivery trucks hit the road

    Amazon is beginning wide-scale deliveries Thursday with its Rivian-designed electric cargo van, a next-generation logistics vehicle years in the making.

    Why it matters: Significantly electrifying Amazon's delivery van fleet could help the company meet its ambitious target of hitting net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

    • Commercial fleets will probably go electric at significant scale before everyday car buyers — meaning companies like Amazon, FedEx and so on are poised to drive the electrification revolution.

    Driving the news: Amazon introduced the production model of Rivian's van, called the Electric Delivery Vehicle (EDV), at a Chicago press event Thursday following a pilot program that began last year.

    • The EDV is also rolling out today in Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and St. Louis, "among other cities" in the U.S., per Amazon.

    The details: The EDV isn't just yesterday's cargo van with an internal combustion engine swapped for an electric one — it's purpose-built with tech meant to meet the needs of Amazon and its drivers.

    • Onboard software links up with Amazon's logistics systems.
    • Accelerometers throughout the vehicle monitor for bangs and bumps, signaling that it might be time for preventative maintenance before something important breaks.
    • Driver-assist features like collision warnings and automatic braking are meant to improve safety.
    • The cabin is ergonomically designed, and a powered cargo area door can automatically open at delivery destinations — features that could help reduce driver fatigue and, by extension, turnover.
    • The massive sloped windshield might look a little Pixar, but it improves driver visibility.

    What they're saying: "What's happened over the last two-plus years is, we've gone from a whiteboard sketch into detail design, spent a lot of iterations with the Amazon team and with drivers," Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe tells Axios.

    • His team has been "observing, getting feedback — questioning everything from where our grab handles should be, to where our footsteps should be, to the way the HVAC works in the vehicle, to the way the connectivity platforms work, to the way our in-vehicle systems interact with Amazon's digital ecosystem."
    • "This vehicle is really the first big step in helping us get to an excellent position," adds Udit Madan, Amazon's VP Last Mile.

    Amazon has a handful of other electric vehicles in use around the world, added Madan, including e-bikes, rickshaws and more.

    • The delivery giant will have "multiple partners" in the EV space, Madan said. "Rivian's going to be a very important one of them, but one of many."

    Between the lines: The Amazon deal — it's buying 100,000 EDVs through 2030 — is a lifeline for Rivian, which has been seen as a promising Tesla competitor but has struggled to beef up its consumer production numbers.

    • Amazon is also a significant Rivian shareholder, holding about 18% of the company's stock as of March.

    • In part, Rivian has been held back by a big problem recently plaguing every automaker: a serious lack of semiconductors. But Scaringe sees signs that issue is abating, "in part because the suppliers really lean in to work with us, but also in part because there is some slowdown in overall demand," he says.
    • Amazon's support could help Rivian weather a recession, if one materializes. Many other upstart EV makers may not be so lucky.

    Rivian's EDV project, Scaringe added, isn't taking attention away from its consumer vehicles, the R1T pickup and R1S SUV. "There's a consumer vehicle line, and then there's a commercial vehicle line, but it's completely different robotics, completely different tooling and fixtures ... we're not competing for real estate in the sense that if for every R1T we build, it's taking a slot from an EDV."

    Our thought bubble: Amazon's and Rivian's ability to work together relatively quickly on what appears to be an impressive, purpose-built EV casts the United States Postal Service's struggles to electrify its own fleet in a harsh light. "It's really a missed opportunity," says Scaringe of the USPS situation.

    What's next: Amazon plans to roll out thousands of EDVs in more than 100 cities this year, while Rivian competitors like Ford (a onetime partner) and GM are introducing electric cargo vans of their own.


    • Ford's answer to EV supply chain hell: Cheaper batteries

    Automotive giant Ford is shoring up its battery supply chain — partly by importing lower-cost, iron-based batteries popular in China — as it sprints to increase electric vehicle production.

    Why it matters: Employing cheaper, safer and more durable iron batteries could accelerate demand for mass-market electric vehicles (EVs), and help automakers sidestep nickel and cobalt supply problems that have been driving up EV prices.

    The big picture: Carmakers' plans to shift away from gasoline-powered vehicles won't succeed unless they can secure reliable battery supplies. But with raw materials in short supply — and sourced primarily in Asia — the battery race is turning into a fierce geopolitical competition.

    Driving the news: Ford said Thursday it had lined up enough batteries to meet its short-term goal of producing 600,000 EVs annually by 2023, up dramatically from the 27,140 battery-powered cars it sold in the U.S. last year.

    • The company, which is spending $50 billion to expand its EV lineup, also said it was 70% to its goal of securing enough batteries to produce 2 million EVs annually by 2026.
    • Ford announced a slew of supplier deals and partnerships — including contracts to buy raw materials directly from mining companies, as other automakers have done.

    Details: One way Ford intends to meet its EV targets: adding a second type of battery chemistry to its lineup called lithium iron phosphate (LFP), alongside its existing nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) chemistry.

    • It will initially import LFP battery packs from China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd. (CATL) for its Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning pickup, starting next year.
    • But Ford also wants to produce LFP batteries in North America, and plans to open a 40-GWh LFP cell factory by 2026. (That's in addition to three previously announced battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky.)

    Between the lines: Iron and phosphorous are abundant, which is why LFP cells cost at least 30% less than today's nickel- and cobalt-based batteries, Sam Abuelsamid, principal analyst at Guidehouse Insights, explains in Forbes.

    • LFP batteries are also more durable, lasting up to 1 million miles, per CATL.

    • And they're less likely to catch fire because the chemistry is more stable.

    Yes, but: LFP batteries pack 30% less energy than similarly-sized nickel-rich batteries, which translates into shorter driving range.

    • This isn't a huge issue in China because buyers there care more about price and durability than driving range.
    • But Americans, who aspire to take long road trips, want longer-range EVs capable of going 300 miles or more between charges.
    • Instead of installing a larger battery to meet their range expectations, carmakers can squeeze more LFP cells into battery packs by redesigning their module structure, per Abuelsamid.

    What to watch: Tesla increasingly uses cobalt-free LFP batteries in its entry-level vehicles, and it's expected Ford and others will too.

    • Meanwhile, nickel-based batteries will be used for pricier performance cars.

    What they're saying: "We know that the battery material cost is where the war will be won in the short term," said Lisa Drake, vice president of EV industrialization for Ford's Model e division.


    • Renewable energy tops Marcos admin’s climate change agenda

    President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday pushed for the transition to renewable energy to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change on the country.

    Marcos, in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered at Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City, said the use of renewable energy will top his administration's climate change agenda.

    "We will increase our use of renewable energy sources such as hydropower, geothermal, solar, and wind,” said Marcos, whose home province Ilocos Norte houses the now-famous Windmills of Bangui.

    The shift to renewable energy is seen as a solution to help slow down the effects of climate change.

    The United Nations-body Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its report released in April 2022, bared that solar and wind energy and batteries have shown sustained cost reductions of up to 85 percent since 2010.

    Many policies and laws have improved energy efficiency, reduced deforestation rates, and accelerated renewable energy deployment, according to the IPCC report.

    Marcos emphasized the need to promote the use of renewable energy, as he noted that the Philippines is a disaster-prone country.

    Given the country's geographical situation, capacity-building for natural disaster resiliency is "a must," he said.

    Marcos said investing in science and technology would enable the government to have accurate weather forecasts and on-time disaster alerts.

    “For the welfare of our people, it is incumbent upon us to lessen our vulnerability,” he said. “Studies show that many areas in the Philippines are already at high risk from the rise in sea levels brought about by the increase in global temperature. We must adapt to this phenomenon with disaster-proof urban planning.

    Partnership with private sector

    The Philippines, though a minor contributor to climate change globally, is one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change.

    Marcos also raised alarm over the precarious fresh water supply situation in the country, especially in urban areas.

    “Many of our water supply systems date back to the 1950’s and they must already be rehabilitated and improved,” he said.

    He then directed Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia "Toni" Yulo-Loyzaga and Public Works Secretary "Manuel" Manny Bonoan "to explore possible partnerships with the private sector to address this critical situation.”

    “There is no question that the preservation of the environment is preservation of life. If we cannot mitigate climate change, all our plans for the economy will be for naught,” Marcos said.

    Marcos said environmental laws and policies must be followed when the government forges partnership with the private sector.

    “Companies who exploit our natural resources must follow the law. We all have the responsibility to preserve the Earth, for we are but custodians, and we will pass this treasure on to future generations,” he said.

    Marcos, in his inaugural speech delivered on June 30, mentioned plastic pollution and climate change as among critical issues his administration will address.


    Something a little different.

    • Can A Machine That Uses Cells As 3D-Printing Ink Be The Future Of Beef?

  3. #578
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Moves made last week with Looper’s new government

    Chris Bowen has declared Labor's climate legislation is "simply the beginning" and the work to slash Australia's emissions starts now, as he introduced the government's signature bill to Parliament.

    The Climate Change and Energy Minister said it was no accident that the Albanese government had chosen to bring forward legislation to enshrine Labor's emissions reduction targets with one of its first acts in the new parliament.

    "Our country and our parliament have wasted long enough, delaying and denying," Mr Bowen said in a speech to the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning.

    "Time for action is now. We don't have a second to waste."

    The bill would legislate Labor's 43 per cent 2030 emissions reduction target and net zero by 2050 goal.

    The legislation would also task the Climate Change Authority with providing advice on future targets, including for 2035, and require the minister to provide an annual progress statement to Parliament.

    The Albanese government is hoping the bill will sail through the lower house before the end of next week, before a likely showdown in the Senate in September.

    Labor need to win the backing of the Greens, which have so far refused to guarantee their support because of the government's insistence that it won't block future coal and gas projects.

    Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed Labor wouldn't cede to the Greens' key demand, declaring that a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects and a halt to coal and gas exports would be "devastating" for Australia's economy.

    Mr Bowen revealed on Tuesday that some tweaks had been made to the bill after talks with the Greens and crossbenchers, which were confirmed in the text of legislation unveiled on Wednesday morning.

    The bill confirms that new emissions targets must be higher than previous ones, which both prevents the government from "backsliding" on its ambitions and opens the door for it to go further.

    "This bill is not the end of the work - far from it," Mr Bowen said.

    "It is simply the beginning. The real task lies in the implementation of the goals we are outlining today."

    Mr Bowen again took a swipe at the Peter Dutton-led Coalition, which is set to vote against the bill because it doesn't believe legislated targets are necessary.

    "The opposition had a choice. They could vote for progress, or a choice to pedal the same discredited scare campaigns they have peddled for the past two decades," he said.

    "They've made that choice. It is disappointing."

    Meanwhile, newly elected teal independents are already pushing the Albanese government to go further on climate change.

    Goldstein MP Zoe Daniel used her first speech in Parliament to argue that reaching net zero emissions by 2040 - a decade ahead of the government's target - would not be a "moment too soon".

    "My job now will be to hold the government to account for dramatically improved climate policy and targets, backed by the best science that we have-a timely, planned and just transition to renewable energy," Ms Daniel said.


    In other news……

    Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace announced on Thursday that the state’s Advancing Clean Energy Schools (ACES) program had been completed with a total of 200,000 solar PV panels installed on rooftops at 912 schools spread across the state.

    Grace said the result had outstripped expectations for the program, which had been expanded in February 2022.

    “I am particularly proud that we exceeded our original target of 180,000 panels at 872 schools and have instead delivered 200,000 panels at 912 schools,” she said. “This equates to a $26 million saving on energy bills every single year and is enough renewable energy to power 25,000 homes.”

    Grace said the solar installations would make a significant contribution to the Palaszczuk Government’s 50% renewable energy target by 2030, with the 200,000 solar panels expected to generate an average of 280 MW of electricity per day.

    Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the program was good news for schools and great news for the state government’s renewable energy target.

    “ACES is making a significant contribution to the Palaszczuk Government’s 50% renewable energy target by 2030, with the 200,000 solar panels on state school rooftops expected to generate an average of 280 MW of electricity per day,” the Gold Coast-based minister said. “The 17,000 panels in the Gold Coast alone can generate around 23,000 kW of electricity per day.”

    The Nerang State High School in the Gold Coast’s northern suburbs is among the schools to receive rooftop solar with 484 panels installed as part of a $310,000 investment.

    Principal Scott Ison said the solar system, which has been operating since last year, can generate around 630 kW of electricity per day.

    “These new solar panels will not only deliver significant energy savings for the school but will also allow us to redirect these savings into important teaching and learning activities that will benefit every student,” he said.


    The Australian Renewables Energy Agency (ARENA) has shortlisted 12 battery storage projects with a total capacity of 3.05 gigawatts (GW) for its large-scale battery storage fund.

    According to a statement by ARENA, the 12 shortlisted projects have a total capacity of 3,050 MW/7,000 MWh and ARENA has allocated A$297 million to the projects. The 12 projects were selected by ARENA from a pool of 54 expressions of interest (EOIs).

    The shortlisted projects will compete for up to A$100 million in ARENA grant funding to support new construction projects and renovation of existing batteries across the country, with a minimum of 70 megawatts (MW) per battery.

    ARENA launched the grant in January. It plans to support the development of up to three grid scale battery projects, in order to demonstrate how large scale battery projects can be incorporated into the grid.

    Leanne Olden of Pinsent Masons said: “This investment by ARENA is critical to the transformation of the grid as we move towards a higher penetration of renewable energy in the grid. Large scale battery projects are able to provide critical system services, including grid stabilisation services, which might have traditionally been provided by synchronous condensers or other base load generators.”

    “Involvement in the ARENA program also offers stakeholders a means to de-risk the development of battery projects, but also sends a signal to the market that Australia offers an attractive investment prospect for battery technologies,” she said.

    The successful applicants for this round of funding will be announced in late 2022.


    • Adam Bandt - The Greens welcome reports the government has listened to some of our concerns about the climate bill, and we are continuing negotiations about remaining issues.

    But we’re concerned that Labor’s desire to open new coal & gas mines will make the climate crisis worse.:

    Just for fun.

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    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    The 900 MW Nant de Drance pumped storage hydro power plant in Valais, Switzerland, will be put into operation on July 1, 2022, according to Alpiq.

    This is the culmination of 14 years of work and intensive testing. Nant de Drance SA and its shareholders Alpiq (39%), SFR (36%), IWB (15%) and FMV (10%) will inaugurate the power plant in September.

    Nant de Drance power plant will play a key role in stabilizing the Swiss and European electricity grids, Alpiq said. It will also contribute toward the security of supply of electricity in Switzerland.

    Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga and President of the Cantonal Council of Valais, Roberto Schmidt, inspected the power plant on June 18.

    Located 600 m below ground in a cavern between the Emosson and Vieux Emosson reservoirs in the Finhaut municipality, the Nant de Drance power plant will feature six pump-turbine units with a capacity of 150 MW each. The highly flexible machines make it possible to switch from pumping at full power to turbining at full power in less than 5 minutes. The upper reservoir of Vieux Emosson holds 25 million m3 of water, which represents a storage capacity of 20 million kWh.

    The construction of the Nant de Drance pumped storage power plant has involved some extraordinary work, Alpiq said. At the peak of construction, up to 650 people worked on the construction site and some 60 companies came together to realize this structure at a cost of around CHF2 billion ($2.1 billion). Situated at the heart of the mountain, the powerhouse cavern measures 194 m long, 52 m high and 32 m wide and required the excavation of 400,000 m3 of rock and the drilling of 17 km of tunnels. The Vieux Emosson dam located at 2,200 m altitude was raised by 21.5 m in order to double capacity of the reservoir and provide adequate storage capacity for the facility.

    To minimize its environmental impact, Nant de Drance SA worked with environmental organizations from the earliest stages of the project. Fourteen projects at a total cost of CHF22 million Swiss francs ($23 million) have been, are or will soon be completed to offset the environmental impact of the construction of the pumped storage power plant and the very high-voltage line connecting it to the power grid.

    The plant has six pump turbines and a total power output of 900 MW, enough to power as many as 900,000 homes

    ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Standard Solar and Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works in Maryland have begun work to develop a solar project providing clean energy to Bureau of Utility Operations facilities. The systems will be located in Millersville and consist of a combination of four carports and seven rooftop solar arrays, totaling 1.3 megawatts (MW).

    “This project shows that saving tax-payer money and protecting the environment do not have to be mutually exclusive,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman. “I am proud that Anne Arundel County is a leader in efforts to create affordable clean energy solutions where possible.”

    The system is expected to cover more than 90% of the total annual electricity needs of the Bureau’s Complex. In the first year of production, the combined systems are predicted to generate 1,645 megawatt-hours (MWh) of clean electricity.

    “This project is critical in helping Maryland further its position as a leader in the nation’s clean energy transition,” said Daryl Pilon, Director of Business Development, Standard Solar. “Working with local governments like Anne Arundel County to achieve sustainable operations while saving money is a fundamental piece of our nation’s energy solution. And, we’re particularly proud to add this project to the company’s ever-expanding portfolio in our home state.”

    The Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works solar project is partially funded by a grant from Maryland Governor Hogan’s Energy Water Infrastructure Program.

    Currently, Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are on target to reach 50% clean electricity by 2030 and 100% by 2040. This project is another step towards helping the state achieve these ambitious goals.


    Octopus Energy Generation is partnering with turbine manufacturer EWT to repower up to 1000 existing onshore wind turbines in the UK to help boost energy security.

    The older wind turbines Octopus and EWT identified across England, Scotland and Wales, have already been powering communities for years.

    In total the UK has approximately 9,000 onshore wind turbines, Octopus said.
    By increasing the green generation capacity of around a tenth of these, there’s potential to power hundreds of thousands more homes with new cheap, green energy, and drive down energy bills for more people.

    Under Octopus and EWT’s plans, they will upgrade these wind turbines to more powerful and tech-enabled ones.

    The new EWT wind turbines will range from 250kW - 1MW.

    Work begins this Autumn and they aim to be finished by 2030.

    Starting in the UK, they’re looking at working together on similar projects in other European countries in the future.

    In this partnership, they’re exploring a range of ways to increase the green power generated by existing onshore wind turbines - from fitting larger turbine blades, to replacing whole wind turbines and large wind farms.

    EWT is one of the pioneers of community wind and has been providing clean and local electricity to communities in Europe and in the US for the last 15 years.

    Octopus has been working with EWT on two of its Fan Club turbines in Caerphilly, Wales and Market Weighton, Yorkshire.

    They’re expanding this relationship and are also exploring whether some of these re-energised wind turbines could be brought onto a Fan Club-style model.

    Octopus Energy’s Fan Club is a "world-first tariff" providing cheaper energy when the wind blows.

    Octopus Energy Generation chief executive Zoisa North-Bond said: "We need to build enormous amounts of new renewable power, but at the same time it’s a no-brainer to make better use of the UK’s existing onshore wind turbines.

    "There’s a huge untapped opportunity to repower wind turbines that communities have already hosted for many years.

    "This means powering even more homes with cheaper, local, green energy, helping to drive down energy bills and provide energy security."

    EWT chief executive Carel Kok said: "By working with Octopus to rapidly repower lots of older turbines in the UK, we’ll help bring online much more renewable capacity.

    "Our powerful and tech-enabled turbines are the perfect 'goldilocks' solution for communities.

    "We’re looking forward to installing many more in the years to come to turn this vision into reality.”

    Octopus Energy Generation manages 3GW of renewable energy assets across Europe.

    It is stepping up its generation capabilities and is planning to create 18GW of green energy generation projects across the world by 2027.


    The first turbine of RWE’s 342MW Kaskasi offshore wind farm (pictured) was recently commissioned, and is now supplying green electricity to the grid.

    Nine of the total 38 Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD Flex offshore wind turbines are installed, each with a capacity of close to 9MW, RWE said.

    Kaskasi is RWE’s sixth wind farm off the German coast and it expected to be fully operational by the end of 2022.
    Kaskasi will be capable of supplying the equivalent of more than 400,000 German households with green electricity every year.

    Furthermore, together with Siemens Gamesa, the Kaskasi project now features the world’s first installed recyclable wind turbine blades.

    The components of the 81-metre long RecyclableBlades are able to be recycled for new applications at the end of their lifecycle.

    RWE and Siemens Gamesa are helping to pave the way towards the full recyclability of wind turbines.

    Many components of a wind turbine already have established recycling practices.

    Until now, the composite materials used in wind turbine blades have been more challenging to recycle.

    The resin system employed binds all components together.

    In its RecyclableBlade, Siemens Gamesa uses a resin type with a chemical structure that makes it possible to efficiently separate it from other components following decommissioning.

    The process protects the properties of the materials, allowing them to be reused in new casting applications, for example in the automotive industry or in consumer goods like flight cases and flatscreen casings.

    Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit chief executive Marc Becker said: "We are proving that as the leaders of the offshore revolution, we are committed to making disruptive technology innovation commercially viable with the pace that the climate emergency demands.

    "We've brought the Siemens Gamesa RecyclableBlade technology to market in only 10 months: from launch in September 2021 to installation at RWE's Kaskasi project in July 2022.

    "This is impressive and underlines the pace at which we all need to move to provide enough generating capacity to combat the global climate emergency.

    "This milestone marks a significant contribution to Siemens Gamesa's target of having fully recyclable turbines by 2040. With RecyclableBlade available for our customers, we can create a virtuous circular economy."

  5. #580
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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD View Post
    Agree in part.

    Maybe ... domestic not yet
    You would have no change all the pipes.

    'Unfortunately, because the physical and chemical properties of hydrogen differ significantly from those of natural gas, it is not possible to simply exchange natural gas for hydrogen in the existing natural gas system. One limiting factor is the durability of existing pipelines. Some metal pipes can degrade when they are exposed to hydrogen over long periods, particularly with hydrogen in high concentrations and at high pressures. The effect is highly dependent on the type of steel and must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Making the necessary modifications to strengthen pipelines would be costly, but they pale in comparison to constructing an entirely new network.'

    Could hydrogen piggyback on natural gas infrastructure? - Network Magazine
    One should listen twice as much as one speaks

  6. #581
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    Small regional communities are working to secure their own energy futures amid electricity price rises and widespread fears of blackouts.

    Key points:

    Regional Victorian towns Ballan and Pomonal are investigating a community battery

    Experts say batteries will be a big part of Australia's renewable energy transition

    Questions remain around the role community level batteries will play in the mix

    A new report from the Australian Energy Market Operator shows electricity prices rose to their highest levels on record in the three months to June 30, leading to increasing energy bills across the east coast.

    Communities like Ballan, 80 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, are driving their own renewable energy projects as they seek reliability, lower costs, and reduced environmental impact.

    The volunteer-run Moorabool Environment Group is working with residents on the first steps of a project to bring a community battery to the town of almost 3,400 people.

    Resident and group member Rose De la cruz said Ballan was a "good candidate" for the technology.

    "We do suffer from power outages quite a lot here and we have a growing lot of residential houses with solar on their roofs," she said.

    "At the moment everybody is talking about the cost of electricity, so people are interested in anything that will bring down the cost."

    The basic concept was for households and organisations with rooftop solar to feed into a shared battery and draw out electricity when needed.

    Increasing take-up

    Community batteries are becoming an increasingly popular option for regional communities.

    The first community battery in Yackandandah, a small tourist town in north-east Victoria, was launched in July 2021 after two years of planning and fundraising.

    The 274-kilowatt-hour battery that supplies electricity to 40 homes from solar panels on the roof of an old sawmill is part of a bigger mission to have the entire town powered by renewable energy.

    It also serves as a backup power supply.

    Residents in the western Victorian town of Pomonal, on the edge of the power grid, are also looking for solutions to eliminate blackout concerns.

    Pomonal Power People member Dee-Ann Kelly said more people had become interested in the idea of a community battery.

    "I am interested in the idea that not everyone needs to have solar," she said.

    "Down the track I am willing to do get solar, but for now I want to be able to utilise where we have got solar and where we may have solar in the future."

    She said the project was also about supporting people who did not have the ability to put solar panels on their properties.

    "We have talked about not leaving people behind," she said.

    The town is part of a community battery feasibility study and is waiting for a report before deciding on the next steps.

    Ms Kelly said sustaining interest and driving the project could be a challenge, given it could take many years and was not an "overnight solution".

    But she said she was confident the community's desire for power reliability during disasters, such as bushfires, and broad focus on sustainability would drive continued support.

    "We live in the beautiful Grampians and have nature all around us. This is what drives people to want to have a future and be involved in making really important decisions," she said.

    Clean energy future

    Australia Institute energy advisor Dan Cass said Australia had been over-reliant on "risky and expensive" coal and "increasingly expensive" gas.

    Mr Cass said the community battery model would be part of the move to build clean energy resources quickly to avoid another energy crisis.

    He said the Australian Energy Market Operator modelling showed a need to build thousands of gigawatts worth of battery storage over the next several years.

    "We need a lot more batteries on the grid and we need them urgently," he said.

    "The question is who owns the batteries and what is the scale at which they are built?"

    Mr Cass said it was likely large batteries, mid-scale community batteries, and small household batteries would be part of the solution.

    "I think we will find eventually every freestanding roof in the country will be able to have solar panels and in some cases that will be backed up by batteries," he said.

    "It will give enormous power and control back to energy consumers and communities as well as being more resilient and zero emissions.

    "Australia is in a great position … it is just a matter of planning this out well and this will be the last energy crisis Australia will ever need to face."

  7. #582
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Looper’s new government is on the right track

    Labor’s landmark climate change legislation, which would create a legally binding target for the first time in Australia to cut greenhouse emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, has passed the lower house.

    The Climate Change Bill was passed by 89 votes to 55, with the backing of the Greens and most crossbenchers.

    “This is a good day for our country,” Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen told parliament.

    The bill is now set to hit the Senate next month, where the minor party has promised it will back the legislation. Labor will also need the support from a crossbench senator, which is expected to come from independent David Pocock.

    Prime Minister Anthony Albanese celebrated the bill’s passage through the lower house, saying it would lead to the growth of the renewable energy sector and the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

    “The impact of climate change is real. We need a response which is real. The government is offering that, and I’m pleased that it received the support of the House of Representatives,” he told reporters.

    Bowen gave some ground last week to help win Greens’ support for the climate bill by making it clear that legislating a 43 per cent target would not prevent later decisions to make deeper cuts.

    But confirming on Wednesday the Greens would vote for the government bill after weeks of speculation, party leader Adam Bandt flagged that the agreement on the climate bill was only “round one” because he would keep pushing to halt new coal and gas projects and to include tougher rules in environment law to reduce carbon emissions.

    Prior to the final vote, the lower house on Thursday adopted a slate of amendments from the teal independent MPs, which they said would boost the role of science in setting greenhouse emissions reduction targets.

    Bowen told parliament he had worked in good faith on their “sensible suggestions”, which were made by MPs Kylea Tink, Sophie Scamps, Monique Ryan, Zali Steggall, Zoe Daniel, Kate Chaney, Allegra Spender and Helen Haines.

    One amendment made it explicit that the 43 per cent target was a floor rather than a ceiling. Others added requirements that the impacts on regional communities be taken into account and future updates to targets under the Paris Agreement must draw on expert advice from the Climate Change Authority.

    Separate bids from the Greens and independent Andrew Wilkie to lift the emissions cuts to 75 per cent were defeated.

    Bandt urged the government to “act quicker to fix it” after the Coalition’s inertia.

    “We’re doing this to stop going over a cliff,” he said. “If we hit two degrees, say goodbye to the Great Barrier Reef, and parts of Australia may become inhabitable if we go beyond that.”

    In the final vote, the overwhelming support for the bill came from Labor, the four Greens MPs and crossbenchers Daniel, Ryan, Scamps, Rebekha Sharkie, Spender, Steggall, Tink and Wilkie. Chaney and Haines were absent because they caught COVID-19 earlier in the week and are isolating.

    Liberal MP Bridget Archer crossed the floor to support the legislation, but the rest of the Coalition voted against it.

    The opposition has set out plans for a nuclear energy policy instead while signalling it might commit to deeper emission cuts than the target it had in government – a cut of 26 to 28 per cent by 2030.

    Crossbenchers Bob Katter and Dai Le abstained.

    Climate target bill passes lower house after being amended by Greens and '''teal''' crossbenchers - ABC News

    In other news…..

    • Albanese government pulls trigger on offshore wind zones

    Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen has just held a press conference where he announced the federal government will begin a consultation process regarding the establishment of new offshore wind zones.

    The first site being examined is off the Gippsland coast in eastern Victoria. The idea is to build wind turbines that could power up to 1.2 million Victorian homes (the equivalent of 20 per cent of the state’s energy needs).

    The consultation process will last two months. The government is also looking at starting consultation processes for offshore sites in NSW, Western Australia and Tasmania.

    Australia news


    Renewable energy producer Neoen will deliver 40MW of energy to electricity provider Flow Power in a ten year power purchase agreement between the two companies.

    Under the ten-year agreement, Flow Power will purchase close to 10 per cent of the generation capacity of the Goyder South Stage 1 wind farm currently being constructed at Neoen’s Goyder Renewable Zone in South Australia.

    This will enable Flow Power to provide South Australian commercial and industrial electricity users with access to affordable local clean energy following completion of the project in 2024.

    Neoen Australia’s Managing Director, Louis de Sambucy, said the agreement would enable Flow Power to continue delivering competitive renewable energy to Australian households.

    “We are delighted to sign our first PPA with Flow Power, who deliver competitively priced renewable energy and emissions reductions to a wide range of Australian businesses,” Mr de Sambucy said.

    “Goyder South is not only an extremely competitive project: it also unlocks exceptional regional economic and local community outcomes.”

    Flow Power CEO, Matthew van der Linden, said his company was proud to support the project.

    “Flow Power is proud to be supporting Neoen’s Goyder South Stage 1 project with our long-term PPA commitment,” Mr van der Linden said.

    “This PPA represents a significant contribution to Flow Power’s renewable energy portfolio and will enable us to continue providing Australian energy users access to leading clean energy projects.

    “We would like to congratulate the Neoen team for their excellence throughout the PPA process as well as for the significant community benefits they are delivering as part of the project.”

    This is the second offtake agreement secured for Goyder South Stage 1, complementing the 14-year contract for 100MW with the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government, which was announced in September 2020.

    Goyder Renewables Zone leverages the exceptional wind and solar renewable resources of the area and will deliver a significant economic boost to the region.

    Goyder South Stage 1 promises over 400 construction jobs and 12 full time permanent positions, and will share substantial ongoing economic benefits with the local community and Traditional Owners, the Ngadjuri.

  8. #583
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    Seems my last post (and some others) was moved to the “Fossil Fuel Alternatives” thread

    Maybe someone doesn’t like me reporting on what the new Australian government is doing with renewables

    Labor’s landmark climate change legislation, which would create a legally binding target for the first time in Australia to cut greenhouse emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, has passed the lower house.

    The Climate Change Bill was passed by 89 votes to 55, with the backing of the Greens and most crossbenchers.

    “This is a good day for our country,” Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen told parliament.

    The bill is now set to hit the Senate next month, where the minor party has promised it will back the legislation. Labor will also need the support from a crossbench senator, which is expected to come from independent David Pocock.

    Prime Minister Anthony Albanese celebrated the bill’s passage through the lower house, saying it would lead to the growth of the renewable energy sector and the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

    “The impact of climate change is real. We need a response which is real. The government is offering that, and I’m pleased that it received the support of the House of Representatives,” he told reporters.

    Bowen gave some ground last week to help win Greens’ support for the climate bill by making it clear that legislating a 43 per cent target would not prevent later decisions to make deeper cuts.

    But confirming on Wednesday the Greens would vote for the government bill after weeks of speculation, party leader Adam Bandt flagged that the agreement on the climate bill was only “round one” because he would keep pushing to halt new coal and gas projects and to include tougher rules in environment law to reduce carbon emissions.

    Prior to the final vote, the lower house on Thursday adopted a slate of amendments from the teal independent MPs, which they said would boost the role of science in setting greenhouse emissions reduction targets.

    Bowen told parliament he had worked in good faith on their “sensible suggestions”, which were made by MPs Kylea Tink, Sophie Scamps, Monique Ryan, Zali Steggall, Zoe Daniel, Kate Chaney, Allegra Spender and Helen Haines.

    One amendment made it explicit that the 43 per cent target was a floor rather than a ceiling. Others added requirements that the impacts on regional communities be taken into account and future updates to targets under the Paris Agreement must draw on expert advice from the Climate Change Authority.

    Separate bids from the Greens and independent Andrew Wilkie to lift the emissions cuts to 75 per cent were defeated.

    Bandt urged the government to “act quicker to fix it” after the Coalition’s inertia.

    “We’re doing this to stop going over a cliff,” he said. “If we hit two degrees, say goodbye to the Great Barrier Reef, and parts of Australia may become inhabitable if we go beyond that.”

    In the final vote, the overwhelming support for the bill came from Labor, the four Greens MPs and crossbenchers Daniel, Ryan, Scamps, Rebekha Sharkie, Spender, Steggall, Tink and Wilkie. Chaney and Haines were absent because they caught COVID-19 earlier in the week and are isolating.

    Liberal MP Bridget Archer crossed the floor to support the legislation, but the rest of the Coalition voted against it.

    The opposition has set out plans for a nuclear energy policy instead while signalling it might commit to deeper emission cuts than the target it had in government – a cut of 26 to 28 per cent by 2030.

    Crossbenchers Bob Katter and Dai Le abstained.

  9. #584
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    The bill, headed to the House of Representatives within days, includes by far the largest and most consequential measures to reduce domestic climate pollution in the nation’s history, with a $386 billion clean energy investment, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    Based on analyses by several energy modeling groups, it would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by close to one-billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in the year 2030, significantly narrowing the gap between the U.S.’s current path and its Paris Climate Agreement commitment.

    The bill’s climate provisions and emissions reductions

    Three energy modeling groups have examined the effects of the climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act: Princeton REPEAT, Energy Innovation, and the Rhodium Group. The first two of those groups estimate that the package will curb U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by around one-billion tons by 2030; Rhodium’s analysis is a bit more bearish, with a central estimate of 650 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent reduced by the bill. On average, the groups estimate that the bill – if, as expected, passed by the House and enacted – would curb U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by about 900 million tons in 2030, bringing the country 13% closer to meeting its Paris commitment.

    From the standpoint of reducing climate pollution, the bill’s extension of production and investment tax credits for clean electricity projects is its most consequential provision. Those tax incentives have helped spur the rapid growth of wind and solar energy in the U.S. and their displacement of coal power over the past decade.

    But that domestic clean electricity growth had begun to stall, in part because the tax credits were beginning to expire, and there was uncertainty about whether they would be extended. Their 10-year extension in the pending Inflation Reduction Act would give clean energy companies and investors needed confidence to resume the accelerated deployment of renewable projects, as the chart below from the Princeton REPEAT report illustrates. These provisions would account for about 360 million tons of emissions reductions in 2030, or about 36% of the total cuts, according to the Princeton group.


    The French Government has announced several emergency measures to boost renewable electricity generation ahead of the winter.

    Among them is the possibility for new wind and solar farms to sell their electricity directly on the market for 18 months before locking in their Contracts for Difference (CfD).

    This could allow projects that have already won an auction to increase their capacity by up to 40% before completion.

    Furthermore, the government also plans to factor the evolution of raw material costs into CfDs, according to WindEurope.

    These immediate measures will be completed by an upcoming emergency law on further accelerating the deployment of renewables in France, the representative body said.

    WindEurope chief policy officer Pierre Tardieu said: "The French Government is taking unprecedented steps to boost wind power generation and deal with the current energy crisis.

    "The wind sector is ready and fully committed to playing its part in securing France’s and Europe’s energy supply.

    "The government’s emergency measures mean more electricity generation in the coming months, and more energy security for French businesses and citizens.

    "At the same time, the announcement of a 2GW wind zone off the Oléron island confirms France is serious about its big offshore wind plans.

    "And the broad consultation process shows this can be done with the support of the community.

    "And that wind energy projects and biodiversity protection can be mutually beneficial.”


    • Leeward Renewable Energy Begins Construction of Big Plain Solar Project in Ohio

    Leeward Renewable Energy ("LRE" or "Company") announced today that it has commenced on-site construction on the 196-megawatt (MW) Big Plain Solar project located near London, Ohio. The renewable energy generated by the project will be supplied to Verizon Communications under a long-term power purchase agreement.

    SOLV Energy, a leading solar and energy storage construction company, serves as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor on the project, which will utilize First Solar advanced, ultra-low carbon thin-film photovoltaic solar modules. Big Plain Solar is expected to provide approximately 400 construction jobs, with at least 80 percent to Ohioans, furthering LRE’s commitment to hiring local labor.

    As part of LRE’s pledge to being responsible stewards of the land it develops and manages, the Company will implement numerous sustainable practices at Big Plain Solar, including maintaining a soil health monitoring program and curating a 70-acre pollinator habitat.


    • Colombia maps first offshore wind tender

    The Colombian government has mapped out how it plans to deliver its first offshore wind tender in 2023.

    The Ministry of Mines and Energy has published its first resolution for offshore wind, setting out the competitive process for awarding temporary occupation permits.

    These permits will provide exclusive rights for the exploration and development of offshore wind projects off the country’s coastline.
    Colombia’s Direccion General Maritima (DIMAR) has decided the country’s first projects should be sited in its Central Caribbean zone, off the departments of Bolivar and Atlántico.

    Developers assigned permits in the first round will have to determine the viability of the projects and advance through licensing and the maritime concession application process before starting construction.

    The Colombian government will now work to appoint a process administrator.

    Diego Mesa, Minister of Mines and Energy, said: "We do not stop at our goal of leaving the country a diverse energy matrix and with a striking regulatory framework for the development of renewable energies in the country.

    “I have to thank the World Bank, the Danish Energy Agency, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) and the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH), which supported the work of more than a year by MinEnergía and DIMAR to make this process a reality.

    “Offshore wind energy is the future of Colombia, as we have a potential of 50 GW that is more than three times the generation capacity we currently have in the country.”


    • Mayor Lightfoot announces plan to switch city facilities to 100% renewable energy by 2025

    CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot plans to switch the city's municipal buildings to 100% renewable energy in the next few years.

    The mayor's office announced an agreement with electric utility Constellation to purchase renewable power for all city facilities and operations by 2025, with their initial five-year energy supply agreement starting in January 2023.

    "The 2022 climate action plan deepens our city's longstanding commitment to climate action, and sets a goal of reducing emissions in Chicago by 62% by 2040," Lightfoot said.

    Beginning in 2025, the city will begin partially powering large facilities such as the airports, Harold Washington Library Center, and Jardine Water Purification Plant with solar power generated from Swift Current Energy solar farms in Sangamon and Morgan counties in downstate Illinois.

    That solar farm project is expected to create hundreds of jobs, and be one of the largest solar projects in Illinois to date.

    The city also will purchase renewable energy credits from other sources for its remaining power uses, such as small- and medium-sized buildings and street lights.


    • Federal government declares Australia's first six offshore wind energy zones

    The federal government has declared Australia's first offshore wind zone, giving developers the green light to ramp up planning and consultation for wind farm projects.

    Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen announced waters off the Gippsland coast, in Victoria's south-east, would be the first offshore wind zone.

    Other areas will follow off the coast of the Hunter Valley and Illawarra in New South Wales, Portland in Victoria, Northern Tasmania, Perth and Bunbury in Western Australia.

    Developers last week told the ABC projects were being held up by the federal government dragging its feet on the impending declaration, which allows them to consult and then apply for permits.

    Mr Bowen said other countries had been successfully producing energy from wind farms in the ocean for years, and it was Australia's time to catch up.

    "We have some of the best wind resources in the world," Mr Bowen said.

    "Just one rotation of one offshore wind turbine provides as much energy as an average rooftop solar installation generates in one day."


    • City of San Diego unveils $10 million plan to provide solar energy to low-income communities

    SAN DIEGO — There is a push for clean energy in communities that may be most at risk to climate change.

    The city of San Diego is partnering with San Diego Gas & Electric and the Center for Sustainable Energy to provide solar panels at little to no cost for low income families.

    The program is called the San Diego Solar Equity Program.

    "It's targeted to low income folks who otherwise might not get access to clean energy because they can't afford the $20,000 it takes to put solar on their rooftop," said Lawrence Goldenhersh of the Center for Sustainable Energy.

    He said the goal is to provide clean energy in communities that historically have had less access to it.

    The program covers up to 100 percent of solar installation costs. In addition, it also covers up to $3500 dollars for electrical panel upgrades to prepare homes for solar installation.

    The city said its paid for by shareholder funds from SDG&E as part of its energy cooperation agreement. The electrical and gas utility said this program is not paid for by the rate payers.


    • Beyond Meat cutting 4% of workforce

    Alternative protein company Beyond Meat is laying off about 4% of its global workforce, the company announced Thursday.

    Quick take: While it cited broad concerns about the economy as factors clouding its 2022 outlook, the company is also facing its own specific challenges — such as struggling to grow interest for its products both in grocery stores and through restaurant partnerships.

    The big picture: The move is yet another example of corporate belt tightening. As other companies have done this quarter — including Walmart and Target — Beyond Meat is lowering part of its financial forecast for the year, citing economic uncertainty.

    What they're saying: Consumers are either switching back to traditional meat, which is typically less expensive, or to cheaper brands which offer the same kind of product, the company's CEO Ethan Brown said in a statement.

    • Throughout this summer, analysts have been reporting lackluster demand for McDonald's McPlant burger, which uses the meat-free Beyond patty, during a months-long testing period.

  10. #585
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    • August 7, 2022 - A good podcast

    Labor’s climate bill and the power of the Australian Greens

    Labor’s climate bill, enshrining their emissions reduction targets into law, is set to pass both Houses of Parliament. The support of the Greens party - which now holds considerable power in the Senate - was hard won but Greens leader Adam Bandt warns “the fight to stop Labor opening new coal and gas mines continues”.


    Found another good article about the climate bill that was recently passed in the lower house….

    But first the bill itself. Climate Change Bill 2022:

    • Australia enters ‘new era’ on climate change as greenhouse gas bill passes

    The Australian government has passed a bill in its lower house of parliament to bind the country to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, in what it called “a new era” of commitment to addressing climate change.

    The shift in course puts the country “on the right side of history”, prime minister Anthony Albanese said, after years of being a climate policy laggard under former leader Scott Morrison, who once brandished a lump of coal in parliament as a testament to his Liberal party’s steadfast support of coal and gas despite catastrophic bushfires and floods during his tenure.

    Albanese’s Labor government, elected in May, campaigned for the emissions reduction target to be introduced by legislation. The bill also enshrines a pledge of net zero emissions by 2050. It brings Australia closer to commitments by Canada, South Korea and Japan, while still being behind the US, EU and UK.

    Labor gained the support of the Green party and independent MPs, including ‘teal’ politicians who won seats on an environmental platform, despite pressure from Green representatives to go much further in setting targets during negotiations.

    Chris Bowen, the climate change and energy minister, said: “The passing of this bill in the House of Representatives starts a new era of climate and energy certainty, one that is well overdue.”

    Allegra Spender, a teal MP who won her seat in Sydney’s affluent eastern suburbs from the Liberal party, said the bill would “mark the start of a new way of doing politics that finally gives several communities like mine a voice”.

    The Liberal party, now in opposition, refused to back the government’s climate bill and said it would come up with its own proposals which could include a push for nuclear power to be adopted as an energy source.

    The climate bill is set against a backdrop of an energy crisis that has caused power shortages on Australia’s populous east coast, as well as record exports of fossil fuels, including coal and gas, that have fired the economy as it has emerged from the pandemic.

    The government refused to ban new oil and gas projects altogether despite pressure from the Green party to do so during talks over the climate bill. Pacific island leaders also pushed Albanese for a moratorium on greenfield fossil fuel projects at a meeting in Fiji last month.

    However, the first signs of a stricter approach were clear on the same day the bill was passed when a proposal for a new open pit coal mine 10km from the Great Barrier Reef was effectively rejected.

    It is the first time that an Australian federal environment minister has blocked a new coal mine, although the proposed rejection by Tanya Plibersek, the minister, was on the grounds of potential damage to the reef and water supply rather than specifically related to climate change.

    Adam Bandt, leader of the Green party, said that the proposal to reject the Queensland mine was a case of “1 down, 113 to go”, and a moratorium on all new coal and gas projects was needed. “You can’t put out the fire by pouring petrol on it,” he said.

    Central Queensland Coal, the company behind the Styx basin coal plan owned by billionaire Clive Palmer, did not respond to requests for comment. The rejection of Palmer’s new coal mine is also symbolic as the billionaire is the leader of the United Australia party which has one senator who has pledged to vote against the climate bill.

    The bill will now move to the senate, Australia’s upper house, where it is expected to be adopted.

    The adoption of the 43 per cent emissions reduction target has been welcomed by the broader business community on the grounds that it will introduce investment certainty as Australia upgrades its energy network and stimulates its renewable energy industry.

    Andrew McKellar, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce, called for swift passage of the bill. “The best way to secure the planning, investment and innovation that will underlie an efficient energy transition is through legislated targets,” he said. Subscribe to read | Financial Times


    And why every Australian should be concerned about the highlighted part of the article I posted above…

    • Adam Bandt - The Greens welcome reports the government has listened to some of our concerns about the climate bill, and we are continuing negotiations about remaining issues.

    But we’re concerned that Labor’s desire to open new coal & gas mines will make the climate crisis worse.:

    Coal Power Emissions Per Capita | Ember

  11. #586
    Excommunicated baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth View Post
    billionaire Clive Palmer,
    That fat fcuk needs to be used as biofuel

  12. #587
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    Scientists have come up with a way to make wind farms more energy efficient, and it doesn’t require new investment.

    Wind turbines are controlled as freestanding units and only maximize their own power production, but the wake of each wind turbine impacts each other.

    MIT’s Esther and Harold E. Edgerton assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering Michael F. Howland explains:

    Essentially all existing utility-scale turbines are controlled ‘greedily’ and independently.

    From a flow-physics standpoint, putting wind turbines close together in wind farms is often the worst thing you could do. The ideal approach to maximize total energy production would be to put them as far apart as possible.

    But if wind turbines are spread out, that increases associated costs, so it’s not a practical solution.

    Howland led a team of scientists supported by MIT and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy who published a new study yesterday in the journal Nature Energy. The researchers found – based on real-world tests at a utility-scale wind farm in India – that a wind farm’s energy output can be increased if individual turbines are optimized and the wind flow is modeled collectively.

    MIT News explains the team’s findings:

    Today, each turbine constantly senses the incoming wind direction and speed and uses its internal control software to adjust its yaw (vertical axis) angle position to align as closely as possible to the wind. But in the new system, for example, the team has found that by turning one turbine just slightly away from its own maximum output position — perhaps 20 degrees away from its individual peak output angle — the resulting increase in power output from one or more downwind units will more than make up for the slight reduction in output from the first unit. By using a centralized control system that takes all of these interactions into account, the collection of turbines was operated at power output levels that were as much as 32% higher under some conditions.

    Howland estimates that, translated to the world’s existing fleet of wind turbines, a 1.2% overall energy improvement would produce more than 31 terawatt-hours of additional electricity per year, approximately equivalent to installing an extra 3,600 wind turbines at no cost. This would translate into some $950 million in extra revenue for the wind farm operators per year, he says.


    Porsche said Monday that it plans to build and operate a solar power microgrid at its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, reducing its annual carbon emissions by 3.2 million pounds. The news came days after Ford announced what it called the largest-ever renewable energy purchase from a utility in the U.S., to power its electricity supply in Michigan with renewable energy.

    The installation of Porsche’s microgrid, an on-site electrical network that harnesses power from solar panels, will begin in September and conclude in 2023. The renewable energy project is part of a $50 million development at the Porsche Experience Center campus in Atlanta.

    Porsche’s 25-year operating agreement with Cherry Street Energy, the largest non-utility provider of solar energy in Georgia, will power Porsche’s on-site fleet of Taycan EVs, among other applications. The energy company will own, operate and maintain the microgrid, selling the power to Porsche.

    Both Ford and Porsche said the energy will accelerate their sustainability goals over the next decade. Porsche said in a statement that the energy from solar panels will provide “a significant portion of annual electricity needs.”

    Porsche aims to become carbon neutral across its operations by 2030. Ford has set a target to power all of its global facilities with renewable energy by 2035 and go carbon neutral by 2050.


    Installing 2,000 small wind turbines will "provide more affordable energy" when people "need it most", Greater Manchester's mayor has said.

    The units, which are powered by the air moved by passing vehicles, will be put on buildings and lampposts as part of the region's carbon reduction plan.

    Andy Burnham said the project will also "support the creation of 200 new jobs".

    The firm behind the turbines said their size meant even small sites could become wind farms.

    Alpha 311 said the units were smaller and lighter than countryside or off-shore turbines, meaning they can be used on roads, bridges, buildings and towers.

    "The switch to net-zero carbon can, and should, be something that offers a fairer future, as well as a greener one," he said.

    The cost of the project, which is a partnership between Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Energy Innovation Agency and the Manchester Inward Investment Agency, has not yet been revealed.

    Mr Burnham said the partnership would "see us generate more low carbon energy locally [and] support the creation of 200 new jobs in Greater Manchester with green skills developed here".

    He added that "crucially", it would also "provide more affordable energy to people at a time when they need it most".

    An initial pilot using the street turbines is set to start in Telford later in the year.

    Those turbines will be used to power streets lights and any surplus energy will be sent back to the National Grid.


    A federal judge on Friday restored a 2016 moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands that had been overturned by the Trump administration.

    In the ruling, Judge Brian Morris of the District of Montana, an Obama appointee, ordered the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reimpose the moratorium until it has conducted a more thorough environmental analysis.

    Former Trump-appointed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had reversed the Obama-era hold in 2017. In January, the Biden administration rescinded Zinke’s specific order but did not fully reimpose the moratorium.

    Leasing of federal lands for coal mining accounted for about 40 percent of U.S. coal production in 2015.

    Morris had previously sided in 2019 with a coalition of tribal and environmental groups, ordering a new environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Calling the new analysis inadequate, the groups sued again in 2020.

    “BLM’s NEPA analysis should have considered the effect of restarting coal leasing from a forward-looking perspective, including connected actions,” Morris wrote. “The ‘status quo’ that existed before the Zinke Order was a moratorium on coal leasing. Because the baseline alternative must consider the status quo, BLM was required to begin its analysis from that point.”

    “The Tribe has fought and sacrificed to protect our homelands for generations, and our lands and waters mean everything to us. We are thrilled that the court is requiring what we have always asked for: serious consideration of the impacts of the federal coal leasing program on the Tribe and our way of life,” said Serena Wetherelt, president of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, a plaintiff in the case.

    “We hope that President Biden and [Interior] Secretary [Deb] Haaland fulfill their trust obligation to take a hard look at the overall energy program on federal lands and really consider how to make it best serve the Tribe, taxpayers, and the climate,” she added.

    After two years of decline, coal use sharply increased in 2021, and demand could potentially reach a record high this year, according to the International Energy Agency.

    In a statement, Rich Nolan, president and CEO of the National Mining Association, called the decision “deeply disappointing” and said the trade group will appeal the ruling.

    “Denying access to affordable, secure energy during an energy affordability crisis is deeply troubling. Americans need the energy affordability and energy security buttressed by coal production on federal lands and so do our allies struggling to transition away from Russian energy,” Nolan said. “The reimposition of this moratorium couldn’t come at a worse time.”


    Boston Mayor Michelle Wu (D) wants to ban the use of fossil fuels in new buildings.

    Wu unveiled a plan on Tuesday that would allow Boston to take part in a pilot program in Massachusetts in which cities and towns will develop ordinances that restrict or prohibit new building construction or renovation projects from using fossil fuels.

    “Boston must lead by taking every possible step for climate action,” Wu said in a statement. “We are eager to carry out the intent of this state legislation and maximize its benefit by including the Commonwealth’s largest city—Boston’s participation will help deliver healthy, energy efficient spaces that save our residents and businesses on utilities costs and create local green jobs that will fuel our economy for decades.”

    In a news release, Wu said that she plans to file a home rule petition with the state’s legislature that will make Boston eligible to participate in the program run by the state’s Department of Energy Resources.

    The pilot program is part of a new climate bill signed into law by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) last week.


    Biden administration nearly doubling number of zero-emission buses with infrastructure funds

    The Biden administration said on Tuesday that it is nearly doubling the number of zero-emission buses on the road through funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law.

    The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $1.66 billion in grants to transit agencies, territories and states that will facilitate the purchase of 1,800 new buses. Of those, 1,100 will be zero-emission vehicles and will nearly double the number of zero-emission buses on the roads, the FTA said in a press release.

    “With today’s awards, we’re helping communities across America – in cities, suburbs, and rural areas alike – purchase more than 1,800 new buses, and most of them are zero-emission,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a written statement.

    “Funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this announcement means more good jobs for people across the country, cleaner air in our communities, and more affordable and reliable options to help people get to where they need to go,” Buttigieg added.

  13. #588
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    Peddlers of environmental doom have shown their true totalitarian colours
    Corporations and utopians are offering authoritarian solutions to crises only democracy and free markets can solve

    xxxxxx xxxxxxx
    15 August 2022 • 7:00am

    Deloitte is the largest “professional services network” in the world. Headquartered in London, it is also one of the big four global accounting companies, offering audit, consulting, risk advisory, tax and legal services to corporate clients.

    With a third of a million professionals operating on those fronts worldwide, and as the third-largest privately owned company in the US, Deloitte is a behemoth with numerous and far-reaching tentacles.

    In short: it is an entity we should all know about, not least because such enterprises no longer limit themselves to their proper bailiwick (profit-centred business strategising, say), but – consciously or not – have assumed the role as councillors to believers in unchecked globalisation whose policies have sparked considerable unrest around the world.

    If you’re seeking the cause of the Dutch agriculture and fisheries protests, the Canadian trucker convoy, the yellow-jackets in France, the farmer rebellion in India a few years ago, the recent catastrophic collapse of Sri Lanka, or the energy crisis in Europe and Australia, you can instruct yourself by the recent pronouncements from Deloitte.

    Whilst not directly responsible, they offer an insight into the elite groupthink that has triggered these events; into the cabal of utopians operating in the media, corporate and government fronts, wielding a nightmarish vision of environmental apocalypse.

    Outlandish claims

    In May this year, Deloitte released a clarion call to precipitous action trumpeting the climate emergency confronting us. Called ‘The Turning Point: A Global Summary’, it is a stellar example of a mentality more common among officials in the EU: one of fundamental bureaucratic overreach (and one which generated Brexit – a very good decision on the part of the Brits, in my view) that threatens the very survival of that selfsame EU.

    The report opens with two claims: first, that the storms, wildfires, droughts, downpours, and floods around the globe in the last 18 months are unique and unprecedented – a dubious claim – and implicitly that the “science” is now at a point where we can say without doubt that experts can and must model the entire ecology and economy of the planet (!) and that we must modify everyone’s behaviour, by hook or by crook, to avoid what would otherwise be the most expensive environmental and social catastrophe in history.

    The Deloitte “models” posit that “climate impacts” could affect global economic output, and say that unchecked climate change will cost us $178 trillion over the next 50 years – that’s $25,000 per person, to put it in human terms.

    Who dares deny such facts, stated so mathematically? So precisely? So scientifically?

    Let’s update Mark Twain’s famous dictum: there are lies, damned lies, statistics – and computer models.

    “Computer model” does not mean “data” (and even “data” does not mean “fact”). “Computer model” means, at best, “hypothesis” posing as mathematical fact.

    No real scientist says “follow the science.” Yet this is exactly what bodies such as the EU consistently pronounce, pushing for collectivist solutions that do more harm than good.

    Solutions in sovereignty

    What might we rely on, instead, to guide us forward, in these times of accelerating trouble and possibility?

    Valid authority rests in the people. Truly valid structures of authority are local, not centralised for reasons of efficiency and “emergency”. This must not become the generation of yet another top-down Tower of Babel. That will not solve our problems, just as similar attempts have failed to solve our problems in the past.

    Ask yourself: are these Deloitte models – which are supposed to guide all the important decisions we make about the economic security and opportunity of families and the structures of our civil societies – accurate enough even to give those who employ them any edge whatsoever, say, in predicting the performance of a stock portfolio (one based on green energy, for example) over the upcoming years?

    The answer is no. How do we know? Because if such accurate models existed and were implemented by a company with Deloitte’s resources and reach, Deloitte would soon have all the money.

    That is never going to happen. The global economy, let alone the environment, is simply too complex to model. It is for this reason, fundamentally, that we have and require a free-market system: the free market is the best model of the environment we can generate.

    Let me repeat that, with a codicil: not only is the free market the best model of the environment we can generate, it is and will remain the best model that can, in principle, ever be generated (with its widely distributed computations, constituting the totality of the choices of 7 billion people). It simply cannot be improved upon – certainly not by presumptuous power-mad utopians, who think that hiring someone mysteriously manipulating a few carefully chosen numbers and then reading the summarised output means genuine contact with the reality of the future and the generation of knowledge unassailable on both the ethical and the practical front.

    The impact of delusional thinking

    Why is this a problem? Why should you care? Well, the saviours at Deloitte admit that there will be a short-term cost to implementing their cure (net-zero emissions by 2050, an utterly preposterous and inexcusable goal, both practically and conceptually). This, by the way, is a goal identical to that adopted last week by the delusional leaders of Australia, which additionally committed that resource-dependent-and-productive country to an over 40 per cent decrease by 2005 standards in "greenhouse gas emission" within the impossible timeframe of eight years. This will devastate Australia.

    Here is the confession, couched in bureaucratic double-speak, from the Deloitte consultants: "During the initial stages the combined cost of the upfront investments in decarbonization, coupled with the already locked-in damages of climate change would temporarily lower economic activity, compared to the current emissions-intensive path.”

    The omniscient planners then attempt to justify this, with the standard empty threats and promises (the suffering is certain, the benefits ethereal): “those most exposed to the economic damages of unchecked climate change would also have the most to gain from embracing a low-emissions future.” Really? Tell that to the African and Indian populations in the developing world lifted from poverty by coal and natural gas.

    And think – really think – about this statement: “Existing industries would be reconstituted as a series of complex, interconnected, emissions-free energy systems: energy, mobility, industry, manufacturing, food and land use, and negative emissions.”

    That sounds difficult, don’t you think? To rebuild everything at once and better? Without breaking everything? Fixing everything in a few decades in a panicked rush while demonising anyone who dares object?

    And what will it take to do so? Here’s the most alarming part: nothing more than “a coordinated transition” that “will require governments, along with the financial services and technology sectors to catalyze, facilitate and accelerate progress; foster information flows across systems; and align individual incentives with collective goals.”

    A clearer statement of totalitarian inclination could hardly be penned.

    Certain outcomes versus predicted outcomes

    The one thing the Deloitte models guarantee is that if we do what they recommend we will definitely be poorer than we would have been otherwise for an indefinite but hypothetically transitory period.

    Yet any reduction in economic output (however “temporary” and “necessary”) will be purchased at the cost of the lives of those who are barely making it now. Period.

    Have you noticed that food has become more expensive? That housing has become more expensive? That energy is more expensive? That many consumer goods are simply unavailable? Can you not see that this is going to get worse, if the Deloitte-style moralists have their way? How much “short-term pain” are you going to be required to sustain? Decades worth? All your life, and the life of your children?

    It’s very likely. For your own benefit. Remember that.

    All this painful privation is not only not going to save the planet, it’s going to make it far worse.

    I worked for a UN subcommittee that helped prepare the 2012 report to the Secretary-General on sustainable development. Whether or not it was a good idea to contribute to such a thing is a separate issue: I do believe at least that the report would have been much more harmful than it was without the input of the Canadian contingent. We scrubbed away several layers of utopianism and Cold-War era conceptualisation and cynicism. That was something.

    I garnered a key and crucial insight from the several years’ work devoted to my contribution: I learned that the fastest and most certain pathway forward to the future we all want and need (peaceful, prosperous, beautiful) is through the economic elevation of the absolutely poor. Richer people care about “the environment” – which is, after all,outside the primary and fundamental concern of those desperate for their next meal.

    Make the poor rich, and the planet will improve. Or at least get out of their way while they try to make themselves rich. Make the poor poorer – and this is the concrete plan, remember – and things will get worse, perhaps worse beyond imagining. Observe the chaos in Sri Lanka, if you need proof.

    There are clearly more important priorities than costly and ineffective emergency climate change reductions. Bjorn Lomborg’s work (among others such as Marian Tupy and Matt Ridley) has demonstrated that other pressing problems could and should take political and economic priority, from the perspective of good done per dollar spent.

    Money could and should be spent, for example, to ensure the current health and therefore future productivity (and environmental stewardship) of currently poor children in developing countries. How about remedying the actual world of pain and deprivation of such children rather than saving the hypothetical world, and the hypothetical world of future children, in abstraction?

    Stirrings of revolt

    Citizens are waking up to this. Dutch farmers and fishermen are rising up, Canadian truckers are pushing back. Such protests are spreading, and increasing in intensity. As they should.

    Why? Because, Deloitte consultants, and like-minded centralists are pushing things too far. It will not produce the results they are hypothetically intending. This agenda, justified by emergency, will instead make everyone poorer, particularly those who are already poor. This use of emergency force will, instead, make the lives of the working men upon whom we all depend for our daily bread and shelter more difficult and less rewarding.

    Finally, this use of emergency force will also make the “environment” worse, not better. Why? If you wreck your temporary economic havoc, to (eventually) remediate the world, those whom you sacrifice so casually in the attempt will descend into chaos. In that chaos, they will then, by necessity, turn their attention to matters of immediate survival – and in a manner that will stress and harm the complex ecosystems and economies that can only be maintained with the long-term view that prosperity and nothing else makes possible.

    Critics of my view will say “we have to accept limits to growth.” Fine. Accept them. Personally. Abandon your position of planet-devouring wealthy privilege. Join an ascetic order. Graze with the cattle. Or, if that’s too much (and it probably is) then purchase an electric car, if you want one (but no diesel-powered emergency backup vehicle or electric power generator for you). Buy some stock in Tesla. That’s probably the best bet (but you don’t approve of Elon Musk, do you?). Stop flying. Stop driving, for that matter. Get on your bike, instead. In your three-piece business suit. In the winter, if you dare. I’ll splash you with icy and salty slush as I drive by, in my evil but warm Ford Bronco SUV, and help you derive the consequent delicate pleasure of your own narcissistic martyrdom.

    Save the planet with your own choices. But quit demanding that the rest of us blindly follow your diktats. Quit demonising and castigating us, merely because we don’t just happily cede to you all the extant power. We’re not evil just because we don’t believe that you are omniscient. We’re not evil just because we don’t want you to assume omnipotence and omnipresence too.

    There is simply no pathway forward to the green and equitable utopia that necessitates the further impoverishment of the already poor, the compulsion of the working class, or the sacrifice of economic security and opportunity on the food, energy and housing front. There is simply no pathway forward to the global utopia you hypothetically value that is dependent on force. And even if there was, what gives you the right to enforce your demands? On other sovereign citizens, equal in value to you?

    An alternative solution

    A better way forward would be to prioritise the problems that beset all of us on this still-green, functional and increasingly abundant planet with the requisite focus and attention demanded of a true political class, elected by the people, capable of and willing to look at everything, trying to fix where necessary, trying to maintain as much freedom and autonomy as possible, and stop simply capitalising narcissistically on the mere appearance of action, knowledge and virtue.

    We should obtain true, cooperative consent from those affected – farmers, truckers, working-class people who have turned in irritated desperation to figures such as Donald Trump – and work with them, rather than forbidding them with your power or improving them so they will be finally worthy of your time and attention. Help replace dirty energy with clean, if you must, but do it on your own dime, and make sure that the results are cheap and plentiful, if you want to help the poor, and the planet.

    The warning bells are ringing. Listen to them, before they turn into sirens.

    We will not advance without resistance through the straits of your enforced privation. We will not allow you to steal and destroy the energy that makes our lives bearable (and that produces our food and shelter and housing and the sporadic delights of modern life) just to address your existential terror (particularly when it will fail to do so in any case). We will not allow our children to be criticised first for having the temerity to merely exist and then be deprived of the prosperous and opportunity-rich future we strived so hard to prepare for them. We remain unconvinced of your frightened and self-congratulatory moralising and intellectual pretension, ignorance of the limits of statistics, and misuse of arithmetic.

    We do not believe, finally and most absolutely, that your declared emergency and the panic you sow because of it means that you should now be ceded all necessary authority.

    So leave us alone, you centralisers; you worshippers of Gaia; you sacrificers of the wealth and property of others; you would-be planetary saviours; you Machievellian pretenders and virtue-signallers, objecting to power, all the while you gather it around you madly.

    Leave us alone, to prosper or not, as a result of our own choices; as a result of our own actions; in the exercise of our own requisite and irreducible responsibility.

    Leave us alone. Or reap the whirlwind. And watch the terrible destruction of what you purport to save, in consequence.

  14. #589
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    Peddlers of environmental doom have shown their true totalitarian colours

    xxxxxx xxxxxxx
    15 August 2022 • 7:00am
    xxxxxx xxxxxxx

    The Telegraph and Jordan Peterson

    Jordan B Peterson - Human emissions of carbon dioxide have saved life on Earth from inevitable starvation & extinction due to C02:

    CO2 is plant food

    Last edited by S Landreth; 18-08-2022 at 07:57 AM.

  15. #590
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    Renewable energy will comprise nearly a quarter of electricity generated in the U.S. this year, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

    The number represents an increase from 2020 and 2021, both of which saw about 20 percent generation from renewables. The EIA further projected the proportion will increase to 24 percent renewables in 2023.

    The EIA predicts much of the increase will be driven by a combination of new wind and solar proliferation, as well as further retirement of sources such as coal and nuclear power.

    However, U.S. coal production, which already saw an increase in 2021, is projected to see another increase of 21 million short tons (MMst) in 2022. Consumption, meanwhile, is projected to decline slightly this year, from 546 MMst in 2021 to 541 in 2022.

    At the regional grid level, the EIA found renewable generation grew for the Southwest Power Pool, which provides power to the central U.S., from 13 percent in 2013 to 40 percent in 2021, with a projected increase to 44 percent by 2022.

    Texas’s self-contained grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, saw its renewables share nearly triple during the same period, from 10 percent in 2013 to about 32 percent this year. Much of both grids’ increased renewables share is the result of increased wind power, according to the EIA.

    On the solar side, the U.S. added 13 gigawatts of utility-scale photovoltaic capacity last year and the additions are projected for 20 gigawatts this year, with 24 the following year. Overall, the agency projects 31 billion new kilowatt-hours of generation this year and 41 billion next year.

    In the short term, the EIA projected continued uncertainty in U.S. energy as a result from the continued turmoil caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

    The projections come the same week President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes a wide range of tax credits for renewable energy projects after many of those projects had been threatened by inflation and supply chain issues.


    Key points:

    • Solar power overtook coal as the leading energy source in the energy market by about half an hour on Friday.
    • Most of the energy came from solar panels on rooftops, not from large solar farms.
    • Energy experts say this is a sign that Australia is moving towards renewable energy.

    Solar power has eclipsed coal as the leading energy source in the energy market, which includes all states and territories except Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

    It’s not the first time this has happened, but experts say it’s the first time it’s happened under relatively “normal” conditions.

    This was not caused by a lack of coal energy, and it happened just in the not so sunny time of the year.

    Joshua Stabler of energy consultancy Energy Edge said this made it especially important.

    “For the first time in business as usual, we are seeing coal dethroned. [the] the number one fuel source on the market,” he said.

    “At times, coal was up to 80 or 90 percent of the energy coming into the market.

    “That means it’s a big event.”

    The milestone came around Friday afternoon, when solar accounted for approximately 40% of the market share and coal for 38%.

    At the time, wind was the third largest source of energy, followed by hydropower and gas.

    In total, renewable energy provided 60 percent of the market’s capacity.

    Energy experts say this is a clear sign of things to come.

    Spring is the time for the sun to shine

    Mr. Stabler said those times when coal clearly takes a backseat to power generation will become more common, especially at this time of year.

    He said the ideal conditions were plenty of sun and relatively mild temperatures.

    “This is just the first of many similar events,” he said.

    “In any spring period, we have a lot of sun in the sky and not much demand.

    “We will see more and more developments as solar becomes the number one generator in the market between September and October and also in March and April.”

    Most of the energy came from solar panels on the roofs of homes and businesses, not from large solar farms.

    Coal still dominates the grid during the evening peak when solar sources are no longer available.

    But Richie Merzian of the Australian Institute’s progressive think tank said it could be solved by transforming the power grid.

    “We can produce more energy on our rooftops in our communities, we can connect more large-scale renewables, but we need a grid that can provide that,” he said.

    “If we have the right settings, renewable energy will fill this gap and provide us with cheaper energy.”

    Mr. Merzian pointed to the federal government’s planned $20 billion investment in the national power grid as a promising start.

    But he said that for now, renewables will do most of the hard work during the day.

    “We are seeing renewables continue to fill these key gaps in the middle of the day,” he said.

    “Renewable energy sources are at the level of 30 percent. [of total annual generation in the NEM] but they will continue to rise sharply.”


    Wind farm agreements have been announced for three new developments in the waters around Shetland.

    The projects are expected to generate a total of 2.8 gigawatts (GW) of electricity - enough to power around two million homes.

    They have all been offered option agreements as part of the Crown Estate's ScotWind clearing process.

    The deal will see the successful applicants pay a total of £56m in option fees to the Scottish government.

    Confirmation was announced as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Aberdeen for an offshore wind supply chain summit with Energy Secretary Michael Matheson and oil industry tycoon Sir Ian Wood.

    Ms Sturgeon said new offshore wind power projects would be crucial as Scotland seeks to become "one of the net-zero capitals of Europe".

    She added: "ScotWind will deliver a new era in Scotland's offshore wind industry, representing the world's largest commercial round for floating offshore wind, and breaks new ground in putting large-scale floating wind technology on the map at gigawatt scale.

    "It will provide several billion pounds more in rental revenues once projects become operational, to be invested for the benefit of the people of Scotland."


    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released three reports showing that wind power remains one of the USA’s fastest-growing energy sources and a generator of high-quality jobs.

    Wind power accounted for 32% of U.S. energy capacity growth in 2021, employs 120,000 Americans, and now provides enough energy to power 40 million American homes. The 2021 wind market reports show that the domestic expansion of wind power is proving to be an essential source of clean, cheap energy generation that supports President Biden’s goals of reaching 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net zero economy by 2050.

    “These reports show U.S. wind energy deployment and generating capacity are booming—delivering cheap, reliable, and clean energy to power even more American homes and businesses,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The rapid technological and industrial advances in the domestic wind sector are creating new jobs for the clean energy workforce and assuring wind power’s critical role in achieving President Biden’s climate and decarbonization goals.”

    Technology advancement, state-level policies, and the federal production tax credit (PTC) have fueled the wind sector’s growth in recent years, but the PTC for wind expired at the end of 2021, creating market uncertainty. The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which invests billions of dollars in wind energy by extending the PTC for at least 10 years and encouraging investment in American clean energy manufacturing, gives long-term certainty to the wind industry and is likely to fuel the sector’s rapid growth in the years to come.


    • Japan’s Eneos plans solar power plant at refinery site

    Japanese refiner Eneos will build an 8.5MW solar power plant at an unused area of its 127,500 b/d Wakayama refinery that it plans to scrap next year, aiming to strengthen its domestic power business.

    Eneos is targeting to start operations in August 2023. It will begin construction of the solar power plant in mid-September at the refinery site at Wakayama prefecture in the western Kansai region. Electricity generated by the plant will be sold to Kansai Transmission and Distribution, a subsidiary of utility Kansai Electric Power, Eneos said on 22 August.

    Eneos will scrap the Wakayama refinery by October 2023 because of falling domestic oil product demand. The solar power project had already been decided when Eneos announced the refinery closure in January. Eneos is still discussing with the local government how else to use the Wakayama site after the refinery closure, it said.

    Eneos had around 663MW renewable power generation capacity — 486MW from solar power, 86MW from onshore wind and 91MW from biomass — as of June. Japan Renewable Energy (JRE), in which Eneos acquired a 100pc stake last October, operates 511MW of the total 663MW, the refiner said.

    Eneos plans to increase its renewable power generation capacity by 552MW, including from plants outside Japan and those owned by JRE, to achieve its goal of achieving carbon neutrality in its own operations by 2040.


    • Vestas has completed the prototype nacelle for the V236-15.0 MW™ offshore wind turbine at its factory in Lindø, Denmark.

    The new design is now ready for testing, the wind turbine manufacturer said via social media.

    The turbine will undergo mechanical testing, as well as strict control of its vital controlling software, and the test programme will end with the physical rotation of the drive train.

    The nacelle will then be shipped to the Østerild test centre for large wind turbines in Western Jutland, Denmark, where the V236-15.0 MW™ wind turbine prototype is scheduled to be installed this year.

    The model will also spin off the city of Frederikshavn in Denmark.

    Namely, in May, European Energy and Vestas revealed their joint ambition to install the 15 MW offshore wind turbines at three of the five test positions that are currently under development by European Energy some four kilometers off the coast near Frederikshavn.

    The wind turbines are expected to be constructed and put into operation in 2024.

    Vestas’s Lindø factory that produced the prototype nacelle will also house serial production of the nacelles for the commercial 15 MW model, which already has buyers in Germany, the US, and Denmark.

    In July last year, EnBW pre-selected Vestas to supply its 15 MW offshore turbines for the 900 MW He Dreiht project in the German North Sea and, a few months later, Equinor and bp named the company as the preferred turbine supplier for their 2.1 GW Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 projects in New York.

    Stretching 280 metres into the air with a production output of 80 GWh/year, the prototype will be the tallest and most powerful wind turbine in the world once installed later this year, according to Vestas.

    With a swept area exceeding 43,000 m2, one single V236-15.0 MW unit is capable of producing enough energy to power more than 20,000 households.

  16. #591
    Thailand Expat
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    Copied this from the space news thread.

    ESA, the european space agency announces big plans. Let's see what comes from it. It at least sounds quite exciting.


    We envision a Europe and world where clean, abundant, secure, safe and affordable energy is available to everyone

    We envision achieving a fully decarbonised world within the next few decades, allowing humanity to arrest the increase of global temperatures that is due to global warming.

    ESA, through a proposed new programme called SOLARIS, will take the next step in pursuit of space contributions to this vision, as it explores the feasibility and potential of Space-Based Solar Power – providing Earth with clean energy from space.

    This program would require a very large amount of mass sent into space. None of the existing launch vehicles can do it. Except the SpaceX Starship presently under development. So ESA proposes to develop their own cost efficient heavy lift launch vehicle, capable of lifting at least 10,000t of payload to LEO every year.

    esa-star Publication

    The program is in the tender stage. No details available yet.

    Call me somewhat sceptical. But interesting for sure.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  17. #592
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    California air regulators voted Thursday to approve stringent rules that would ban the sale of new gasoline cars by 2035 and set interim targets to phase the cars out.

    The measure is a historic one in the US, and would be one of the first such bans worldwide. It has major implications for the US car market, given how large California's economy is and that several states are expected to implement similar rules.

    "This is monumental," California Air Resources Board member Daniel Sperling told CNN. "This is the most important thing that CARB has done in the last 30 years. It's important not just for California, but it's important for the country and the world."

    The board's new rules would also set interim quotas for zero-emission vehicles, focusing on new models. Starting with 2026 models, 35% of new cars, SUVs and small pickups sold in California would be required to be zero-emission vehicles. That quota would increase each year and is expected to reach 51% of all new car sales in 2028, 68% in 2030 and 100% in 2035. The quotas also would allow 20% of zero-emission cars sold to be plug-in hybrids.

    The rules would not impact used vehicles, allowing them to stay on the roads. The rules won't be immediate, and will go into effect in 2026, Sperling said.

    Multiple states are expected to follow suit. Already, 15 states including Colorado and Minnesota, as well as states on the Northeast and West Coast followed California's previous zero-emission vehicle regulations.

    California doesn't have an exact count of how many of those states will adopt the 2035 ban on new gas vehicle sales but expects the "majority of the states to follow," said Alex Stack, a spokesperson for California Gov. Gavin Newsom. New York, Oregon, Washington state and Rhode Island officials confirmed to CNN they plan to adopt California's rule through their own rule-making process, while New Jersey and Maryland officials said they were reviewing California's decision. Public comment in Washington state on a similar plan will start September 7.

    "This is a critical milestone in our climate fight, which is why Washington is poised to institute these same requirements by the end of the year," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told CNN in a statement. "We look forward to partnering with other states and the Biden Administration to rapidly reduce the country's primary source of greenhouse gas emissions."

    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos told CNN in a statement that California's Thursday vote "unlocks New York's ability to adopt the same regulation."

    Sperling said that if most of these states follow California's lead, it could transform the US auto industry.

    "This is a big part of the US market," Sperling said. "Even if the feds don't move on a regulatory perspective, a big chunk of the country will be moving forward."

    Sperling added the process of drafting the rules had received "surprisingly little debate" and pushback from car companies, a signal that companies themselves are embracing the move to zero-emission vehicles. Several companies including Ford and GM have already announced ambitious plans to move toward zero-emission cars, trucks and SUVs.

    "The car companies see what's happening in China, in Europe," Sperling said. "Many of them have already made announcements about how they're converting totally to electric vehicles."

    Thursday's vote is the culmination of years of work; in 2020, Newsom signed an executive order mandating that all vehicles sold in the state must be zero-emission by 2035.

    "What these new standards do is set the roadmap to get there," California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis told CNN's Kate Bolduan on Thursday.

    California also got a boost from the Biden administration, which reinstated California's longtime ability to set its own vehicle emission standards earlier this year. The Trump administration rolled back the California waiver in 2019.

    These States May Join California in Banning the Sale of Gasoline Cars


    Honda Motor and LG Energy Solution said Monday they plan to invest $4.4 billion to build a new battery production plant for electric vehicles in the U.S.

    The announcement marks the latest plans by automakers to invest in American production of battery cells for electric vehicles, as the industry works to to meet stricter regulations and accelerate production of such zero-emissions cars and trucks. Others have included General Motors, Ford Motor, Rivian Automotive and Hyundai Motor.

    Honda and LG Energy said their plant is expected to begin mass production of advanced lithium-ion battery cells by the end of 2025. The facility will be built and operated by a joint venture between the companies, which is expected to be established this year.

    Many of the battery plant investments by automakers follow the stricter sourcing guidelines that are part of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (formerly the North American Free Trade Agreement) and, more recently, the Inflation Reduction Act. Both increased requirements for domestically sourced parts and materials for vehicles to avoid tariffs or be eligible for financial incentives.

    Honda and LG Energy Solution did not announce a location for the multibillion-dollar plant, but automakers have largely been announcing battery production near their assembly operations. Honda currently has large manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Alabama and Indiana.

    The new plant will aim to have an annual production capacity of approximately 40 gigawatt hours, which is in line with plants announced by other automakers. Earlier this year, Japan-based Honda said it plans to release 30 electric vehicles globally and produce about 2 million EVs a year by 2030.

    Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution, called the new plant “another milestone” for the South Korea-based company, which also has joint ventures with GM, Hyundai and Jeep-maker Stellantis.

    “Aligned with our longstanding commitment to build products close to the customer, Honda is committed to the local procurement of EV batteries which is a critical component of EVs,” said Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe in a release.

    LG Energy Solution is a spinoff from LG Chem.


    Adidas has launched their latest offering, wireless headphones, which you can charge through natural lighting as well, ie solar power. You don't always have to be in the sun to charge it as artificial lighting can also do the trick for you.

    It means that your room's ambient lighting will charge your Adidas RPT-02 SOL solar-powered wireless headphones while you chill and listen to music sitting in your room. Adidas claims it has 80 hours of playback time with a single charge.

    Zound Industries and Adidas have collaborated for the second time, and the wireless headphones are made from recycled materials, including nylon and plastic.

    The headband is a revelation, and it is made from a light cell and flexible material that has been screen printed on plastic. Powerfoyle developed the technology.

    The Adidas RPT-02 SOL solar-powered wireless headphones are water resistant from all sides but are not waterproof. You can also charge the headphones using Type-C USB cables. It contains an indicator that tells you, which is the best solar charging spot.

    Apart from all this, there are buttons for volume and playback control. You can buy the headphones from the Adidas online store for Rs 18,000 approx ($229) from August 23 onwards.

    The previous headphones were capable of providing 40 hours of playback time on a single charge and this time, Adidas has doubled the capacity.


    The Danish Government started exploring the possibility to raise the offshore wind capacity at its Bornholm Energy Island last year.

    In October 2021, The Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities requested Energinet to expand the feasibility study areas at the energy island site in the Baltic Sea that would allow installing 3 GW of offshore wind, instead of the initially planned 2 GW.

    Now, the Government, together with the Liberal Party, the Socialist People’s Party, the Radical Liberal Party, the Red–Green Alliance, the Conservative People’s Party, the Danish People’s Party, the Liberal Alliance and the Alternative, has signed a political agreement on expanding the planned offshore wind capacity.

    The expansion means that the wind turbines will be placed between 15 and 45 kilometres from the Bornholm coast, which will in total add more than double the offshore wind capacity Denmark has connected today (2.3 GW).

    It is expected that the tender framework for the offshore wind build-out related to the Bornholm Energy Island will be completed by the end of 2022.

    Furthermore, Denmark and Germany have entered into an agreement on the establishment of a subsea cable that will run from the energy island to Germany, enabling the offshore wind power to be sent directly from the energy island to the German electricity grid and on to the rest of Europe.

    The cable connecting Denmark and Germany will have a length of approximately 470 kilometres and will include a new substation on Bornholm connecting the two halves of the interconnector.

    The agreement with Germany is a new type of cooperation, according to the Danish Ministry of Energy, Climate and Utilities, where costs and benefits associated with the energy island are distributed equally between the parties.

    This means that both countries will contribute to the infrastructure costs and benefit from the supply of green electricity.

    “The cross-border energy cooperation project with Denmark is a flagship project. The green power from “Bornholm Energy Island” will supplement national power generation and reduce our dependence on fossil energy imports. With such projects among European partners we achieve two key goals at the same time: European energy security and climate neutrality”, said Robert Habeck, Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

    Based on the political agreement, Danish transmission system operator (TSO) Energinet and 50Hertz, German TSO responsible for the transmission network in the Baltic Sea, must now enter into an agreement on the energy island.

    The Bornholm Energy Island, to be completed in 2030, will be the first of the two Danish energy islands to be built.

    When established, the energy island will be able to supply up to 4.5 million Danish and German house-holds with green electricity.

  18. #593
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    U.S. solar equipment manufacturing is about to grow, but there are miles to go before reaching the White House goal of becoming a global heavyweight.

    Driving the news: First Solar said Tuesday it is planning to invest up to $1 billion in a new panel factory in the southeast.

    • The company is also spending nearly $200 million to expand production in Ohio.

    Why it matters: It's among several early signs the new climate law will sway investment.

    • It created new tax breaks for clean energy manufacturing projects, and extended incentives for generation projects.
    • CEO Mark Widmar wrote the law has "delivered precisely the durable solar industrial policy that we’ve long advocated for."
    • SPI Energy last week cited the law in announcing new solar wafer manufacturing plans.

    The big picture: Analysts expect billions of dollars in incentives will spur other new announcements and help bring tentative plans to fruition.

    • "We expect that solar companies will prioritize bringing new ingot, wafer and module factories to the U.S.," Pol Lezcano, BloombergNEF's lead North American solar analyst, said via email.
    • "There is definitely going to be a boom in domestic manufacturing," Sylvia Leyva Martinez, a senior Wood Mackenzie analyst, tells Axios.
    • She said the combination of the manufacturing tax credits and extended credits for building new generation projects will work in concert.
    • The Solar Energy Industries Association, in a report, said the law could help lift U.S. manufacturing to 50 gigawatts of capacity by 2030 (but also cautions on several pitfalls).

    Yes, but: The U.S. remains far behind China and other regions in the supply chain for panels and other equipment.

    • Chinese manufacturers made 180 gigawatts worth of panels last year, per BloombergNEF.
    • In 2021 the U.S. manufactured enough panels to provide 8 gigawatts of generating capacity, Lezcano said.
    • BloombergNEF is tracking another 7 gigawatts already announced or under construction by companies including Hanwha Q Cells and First Solar.

    What we're watching: How many more projects materialize — and when.

    • Martinez notes companies need specifics from the IRS on the tax programs. Developers also need to find adequate sites, among other steps, she said.


    • First Solar announces new U.S. panel factory following the Inflation Reduction Act

    First Solar announced Tuesday that it will build a new solar panel manufacturing facility in the U.S. on the heels of the Inflation Reduction Act, which incentivizes domestic manufacturing.

    The company will invest up to $1 billion in the new factory, which it plans to build in the Southeast of the U.S. The newly announced plant will be the panel maker’s fourth fully integrated U.S. factory.

    CEO Mark Widmar pointed to the IRA as the key catalyst that made the company decide to build another factory in the U.S. rather than looking elsewhere.

    The funding packages create, for the first time, a “long-term view and understanding of the industry, and policies aligned to that industry,” he told CNBC.

    “With that level of clarity, we stepped back and evaluated the alternatives or the options of where we could go with our next factory and when we looked at it comprehensively the U.S. was a very attractive option,” he said.

    Widmar added that this is the first time the entire supply chain has been incentivized, from the manufacturer to the generating asset and finally to the end customer.

    “With that type of alignment, you can create partnerships and opportunities to grow together collectively and more of a win-win type of structure than maybe we had before the implementation of the IRA,” he said.

    First Solar said the new factory will manufacture 3.5 gigawatts of solar modules annually by 2025, with the company’s Ohio facilities posting cumulative annual production capacity of over 7 GW by 2025.

    By comparison, the U.S. added 3.9 GW of solar capacity during the first quarter of 2022, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The country’s total solar industry now stands at 126.1 GW, which is enough to power 22 million homes, according to SEIA.

    Shares of First Solar have surged 65% since the end of July when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. announced their surprise agreement on the climate, health care and tax bill.

    The legislation, which swiftly passed the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Joe Biden, benefits First Solar in several ways, including through the production tax credit for domestic manufacturers. First Solar is the largest U.S.-based developer of solar panels, with a focus on utility-scale panels.

    The factory announcement comes as First Solar struggles to keep pace with booming demand. During its second quarter earnings call, First Solar said it’s sold out through 2025, with a backlog of 44 GW.

    Widmar said First Solar wants to move quickly when building out its new factory. One of the company’s considerations is a site that’s as close to shovel-ready as possible. Other factors include the type and availability of workers in the area.

    First Solar is aiming to have identified the site by the end of the current quarter.

    “I think the industry is in the best position it ever has been…for growth beyond any expectations that anyone would have envisioned,” Widmar said.


    • Duke Energy celebrates major milestone, delivers on 700-megawatt solar commitment in Florida

    With the completion of a new 74.9-megawatt (MW) solar facility in Hardee County, Duke Energy reached a significant milestone – it has delivered on its commitment to provide 700 MW of clean energy to Florida customers.

    The Charlie Creek Solar Power Plant is the last of 10 solar sites that are part of the company's multiyear plan on file with the Florida Public Service Commission to deliver 700 MW of solar generation from 2018 through 2022.

    Elected officials and community leaders joined Duke Energy today at a commemorative ribbon cutting and solar panel signing ceremony at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate this significant milestone and grand opening of the new site.

    "Today we are delivering on our promise to build a cleaner, brighter energy future for our customers," said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. "By 2024, we plan to provide 1,500 MW of solar generation as part of our ongoing strategy to offer cleaner, smarter energy solutions that will benefit all Florida customers."

    In addition to carbon reduction and the benefits of creating a diverse energy infrastructure, solar development fosters economic development and job creation in the areas that Duke Energy serves. During construction, the projects brought nearly 2,400 temporary construction jobs to the area.

    All 10 solar facilities are located throughout Florida, as far south as Highlands County and as far north as Hamilton County. At peak output, the sites will generate enough energy to effectively offset the carbon emissions that would be equivalent to consuming about 140 million gallons of gasoline every year.

    The 10 solar power plants under this commitment include:

    Solar generation commitment

    With a combined investment of more than $2 billion, Duke Energy Florida's solar generation portfolio will include 25 grid-tied solar power plants, which will benefit all Florida customers and will provide about 1,500 MW of emission-free generation from approximately 5 million solar panels by 2024.

    Over the next decade, the company will continue to make innovative and targeted investments in additional solar power plants, battery storage technology, community solar, transportation electrification and a modernized power grid to help meet customers' needs for diverse, reliable energy solutions.

    Duke Energy Florida

    Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns 10,300 megawatts of energy capacity, supplying electricity to 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida.

    Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America's largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.

    Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

    Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2022 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' "America's Best Employers" list. More information is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.


    • Two Solar Power Plants Commence Operation in Angola

    Two solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants – with a total installed capacity of 284 MW – have commenced operation in Angola’s western province of Benguela.

    The solar plants come as part of the country’s Energy Angola 2025 program, which aims to diversify Angola’s electricity mix through investment in clean energy.

    At a cost of $300 million, the Biópio Solar Plant, situated in the Catumbela municipality, is the country’s biggest solar energy project, with a capacity of 188 MW, while the Baía Farta Solar Plant, with a capacity of 96 MW, features 261,360 solar panels and costs approximately $152 million.

    The installations of the solar power plants and related systems in Angola were carried out by Portuguese business group MCA, having led the project’s execution phase in engineering, procurement and construction as part of an international consortium.

    The Biópio and Baía Farta projects are the first of seven solar power plants expected to become operational by 2023.

    Announced in 2020, the construction of the solar farms will be led by MCA and will provide the provinces of Benguela, Huambo, Bié, Luanda-Norte, Luanda-Sul, and Moxico with a total generating capacity of 370 MW, providing clean and renewable electricity to approximately 2.4 million Angolans.

    The initiative, which is financed by World Bank subsidiary, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as public financial institution, the French Development Agency, was launched in 2021 and aims to bring clean, reliable electricity to approximately 2.4 million Angolans, particularly in rural areas where 92% of the population lack access to electricity.


    • Hornsea 2: North Sea wind farm claims title of world's largest

    The world's largest offshore wind farm is now fully operational, 55 miles off the coast of Yorkshire.

    The Hornsea 2 project can generate enough electricity to power about 1.3 million homes - that's enough for a city the size of Manchester.

    A decade ago renewables made up just 11% of the UK's energy mix. By 2021 it was 40%, with offshore wind the largest component.

    Hornsea 2 is part of a huge wind farm development by energy firm Orsted.

    "The UK is one of the world leaders in offshore wind," Patrick Harnett, programme director for the Hornsea 2 wind farm told BBC News.

    "This is very exciting after five years of work to have full commercial operations at the world's largest offshore wind farm."

    Hornsea 2 has taken the title of "world's largest" from its neighbour Hornsea 1. It covers an area about four and half time the size of Liverpool. With even larger projects under construction nearby in the North Sea it's unlikely its title will last long. The Dogger Bank wind farm, which when fully built will be able to power 6m homes, is due to start coming on stream next year.

    Each of the 165 turbines in Hornsea 2 stands about 200m tall from the sea level to the top of the 81m blades. Mr Harnett says a single rotation takes six seconds and provides enough energy to power a home for a day.

    Over the last decade the size of wind farms and turbines have both increased, helping to bring down the cost of the electricity they generate.

    "The last time I checked it was roughly £450 per megawatt hour to buy electricity generated by gas," says Simon Evans from Carbon Brief, a website that follows renewable energy issues.

    "That's about 9 times more expensive than the current cost to build new renewable capacity."

    In the UK government's latest auction round in July, 11 gigawatts of renewable energy was commissioned which is enough to power about 12m homes. As part of it's Net Zero targets the government has committed to de-carbonising electricity generation by 2035, with offshore wind playing a crucial role.

    • How installing solar canopies over canals can help California fight drought

    A first-in-the-nation project to determine whether covering sections of canals with solar panels can help California reach its renewable energy goals is gearing up to break ground early next year.

    The $20 million experiment, dubbed Project Nexus, is funded by the state of California and will assess whether solar panel canopies erected over exposed irrigation canal systems can significantly reduce water evaporation while simultaneously generating renewable power. The project in California’s San Joaquin Valley is a partnership between utility company Turlock Irrigation District (TID), California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR), solar energy company Solar AquaGrid and the University of California, Merced.

    The pilot project materialized following results published in a 2021 study outlining the potential benefits of the concept. While the idea is novel in the U.S., researchers looked at a large-scale, solar-canal system in Gujarat, India, and considered what the concept could do for California.

    Researchers from the University of California, Merced determined that covering the 4,000 miles of California’s open canals with solar panels could save upward of 63 billion gallons of water each year, the residential water needs of about 2 million people, or enough to irrigate about 50,000 acres of farmland. In terms of power generation, the study found the solar canopies could generate about 13 gigawatts of renewable power annually, the equivalent to about one-sixth of California’s installed capacity. That’s about half the projected new capacity needed by 2030 to meet the state’s decarbonization goals.

    “Another benefit is that it would avoid land use. Solar canopies over canals avoid the development of large tracts of land that would be required for ground-mounted systems. If we use canal infrastructure, that’s already disturbed land,” Brandi McKuin, lead author of the study and project scientist with UC Merced, said in an interview.

    “There’s a benefit to ecosystems and perhaps even it could avoid some of the protracted disputes over land use that other large utility scale solar projects have had to deal with, for example, tribal sovereignty,” McKuin added.

    Another benefit is the microclimate of the canals can cool the solar panels and increase their efficiency. McKuin said field studies show solar canals in India cooled panels by as much as 10 degrees and had on average 3 percent higher output than ground mounted systems with the same configuration.

    The shade from the panels could also limit light to aquatic weeds and reduce algae growth, which could result in big maintenance savings for entities that manage the canal systems.

    For Project Nexus, less than 2 miles of irrigation canal operated by utility Turlock Irrigation District in California’s San Joaquin Valley will be covered with solar canopies.

    One location in the town of Ceres involves covering about a mile straightaway of relatively narrow, 20 to 25 feet wide, canals and testing multiple different mounting technologies and solar panel designs.

    “At this site it’s going to be 8,000 linear feet of solar panels. So you’re going to have the ability to A-B test different hypotheses,” Josh Weimer, external affairs department manager for Turlock Irrigation District, said in an interview.

    “So testing panels a little bit closer to the canal, some a little bit taller, and seeing if there is an efficiency difference. We’re also looking at potentially using two types of solar panels, mono-facial and bi-facial. With bi-facial you have the ability to potentially generate energy from the underside of the solar panel, and that might be a potential benefit if there’s some reflection from the water underneath the panel,” Weimer added.

    At the second location in the town of Hickman, just east of Modesto, a 500-foot stretch of canal that is 110 feet wide will also be covered using cable suspension.

    Weimer says the biggest hurdle is devising a viable and cost effective way to engineer the mounting techniques. There are also concerns about the canopies obstructing access to canals for maintenance.

    The concept, if successful and scaled up, could potentially help California reach its climate goals and provide water and energy solutions to a state that has long suffered from severe drought. Weimer says using land the electric utility already owns for solar infrastructure could significantly cut costs.


    • European Energy has finalised the construction of a group of wind farms in Poland total 45MW.

    The Pomerania wind portfolio, developed by the company in north-western Poland, consists of five facilities.

    With the grid connection of the portfolio, European Energy will have a total wind capacity of 59.7MW in Poland.

    Construction of the 18-turbine portfolio began in 2019 with a total investment of E73.15m.

    European Energy has more than 500MW of its own wind and solar power assets across the world, is active in 24 countries with a development pipeline totalling 24GW with 1.2GW under construction.

    “We are ready to share this experience with other markets, bringing green, local, and affordable energy to all,” said Johannes Thon, European Energy’s Head of Projects in Central and Eastern Europe.

    “Renewable energy projects contribute to the economic development of the region, including the provision of the clean energy and injecting substantial funds via taxes to the local governments’ yearly budgets, thus helping to improve the key local infrastructure (such as road networks, schools, or leisure areas),” said Marek Dołkowski, Siemyśl Commune Mayor.


    • Volkswagen is pursuing an IPO of its lucrative Porsche division, aiming to capitalize on the luxury brand's sales momentum and electric future.

    Why it matters: VW is seeking to bankroll its own global pursuit of electric vehicles — and an IPO could do the trick.

    Driving the news: The German automaker plans to sell 25% of its Porsche shares — half of which will be acquired by the Porsche family and half of which will be sold through the IPO.

    • Volkswagen will retain 75% of Porsche and will continue to coordinate operations closely.
    • The offering could value Porsche at $59.8 billion to $84.6 billion, according to analyst estimates reported by the Wall Street Journal, in a deal that would reserve voting power to the Porsche family.

    State of play: Porsche sales have been on a roll for years as the brand has capitalized on the world's transition to SUVs, having popularized the Macan and Cayenne models.

    • Porsche also plans to convert most of its sales to electric vehicles by 2030, much like VW itself.
    • Porsche has been VW's "cash cow" for years, representing 50% of the automaker's pretax profit from passenger cars last year despite making up only 3% of its vehicle sales.


    • Vehicle sales surge as Aussies go electric

    The Australian vehicle market has posted its best August result for five years, with a 17 per cent surge in demand as sales of electric cars hit record levels.

    The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries says 95,256 new vehicles were retailed last month, up from 81,199 in the same month last year, the best August result since 2017.

    Sales of electric cars accounted for 4.4 per cent of total demand, the best monthly result for battery-powered vehicles in Australia.

    "We have seen strong sales of battery electric vehicles in August, with Tesla alone selling 3397 vehicles," FCAI chief executive Tony Weber said.

    "Year-to-date EV sales are two per cent of the total market, hybrids are 7.6 per cent and plug-in hybrid vehicles are 0.6 per cent.

    "Combined electrified vehicles are now just over 10 per cent of total sales in 2022."

    Mr Weber said the overall August result was also a positive sign for the industry after two years of constrained supply, due to both the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of computer chips.
    Last edited by S Landreth; 07-09-2022 at 06:51 PM.

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    State of the European Union Debate 2022

    The European Union will propose measures to cap revenues from low-cost electricity generators and force fossil fuel firms to share the profits they make from soaring energy prices, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

    European governments have ploughed hundreds of billions of euros into tax cuts, handouts and subsidies to try to contain an energy crisis, fuelled by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, that is driving up inflation, forcing industries to shut production and hiking citizens' bills ahead of winter.

    "In these times it is wrong to receive extraordinary record revenues and profits benefiting from war and on the back of our consumers. In these times, profits must be shared and channelled to those who need it most," von der Leyen said in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

    She said the bloc was also discussing energy price caps and working to establish a "more representative benchmark" price for gas than the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF), where gas prices have rocketed higher.

    A draft of the Commission proposals, previously seen by Reuters, would skim off excess revenues from Europe's non-gas fuelled power plants to raise cash for governments to spend on helping businesses and citizens with their bills.

    Wind and solar farms and nuclear plants would face a cap of 180 euros ($180) per megawatt hour (MWh) on the revenue they receive for generating electricity, with governments recouping any excess cash and recycling it to support consumers, according to the draft, which could still change before publication.

    That would cap generators' revenues at less than half of current market prices. Germany's front-year electricity price hit a record high of more than 1,000 euros/MWh last month and was trading at above 400 euros/MWh on Tuesday.

    Fossil fuel firms would also face a windfall profit levy to claw back what the Commission described in the draft as "unexpected profits" linked to soaring oil and gas prices stoked by Russia slashing gas deliveries in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

    Oil, gas, coal and refining firms would be required to make a "solidarity contribution" of 33% of their taxable surplus profits from fiscal year 2022, the draft said.

    The Commission has backed away from an initial plan to cap Russian gas prices, however, and EU countries are divided over whether broader price caps would help or harm Europe's efforts to secure winter energy supplies.

    EU countries will have to negotiate the Commission's proposals and agree on final laws. With contentious gas price caps off the table - at least, for now - diplomats from some states were optimistic that deals could be struck at a meeting of EU energy ministers on Sept. 30.

    Honda is ramping up production of electric motorcycles as part of efforts to become carbon neutral by 2040.

    The world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer announced Tuesday plans to launch more than 10 electric motorcycle models globally by 2025, including small commuter models such as scooters, and large “fun models” like dirt and street bikes. Honda said it is targeting annual sales of 1 million units over the next five years and 3.5 million units, about 15 percent of total sales, by 2030.

    The push to electrify the company’s motorcycle fleet, however, will be no easy task. Honda acknowledged integration of electric bikes faces many challenges including heavier vehicles and higher prices in the near term. Demand for electric motorcycles also depends on government incentives and regulations and the availability of charging infrastructure in a given market, which could be a high hurdle to clear in developing parts of the world where commuter motorcycles are more prevalent.

    Most models will be commuter scooters for the Asian and European markets, while four “Fun EV” models are expected to debut in the U.S., Europe and Japan. The e-motorcycles will use Honda’s solid-state batteries, which are under development and expected to hit production in 2024.

    Honda, however, will not be ending production of internal combustion engines in its motorcycles just yet. The company said it will work to reduce emissions from internal combustion engines and introduce motorcycles compatible with carbon-neutral fuels like gasoline-ethanol blends. Honda has released flex-fuel motorcycle models in Brazil and plans to introduce them in India next year.

    The move by Honda comes as vehicle manufacturers are attempting to move away from traditional gas-powered cars to electric vehicles to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.


    Farmers and researchers are experimenting with installing solar panels over active agricultural land in an emerging field called agrivoltaics.

    Why it matters: As the world seeks to wean itself off fossil fuels, solar power will indisputably be part of the post-carbon energy mix.

    • Yet there's only so much land that can be effectively converted to single-use solar production, so dual-use projects like agrivoltaics are getting a closer look.
    • For farmers — many of whom are facing an uncertain future as the climate changes — the hope is that "farming" for solar power can be an additional money-maker.

    How it works: Solar panels installed over farmers' crops generate electricity that can then be sold to an energy supplier and fed into the power grid for community use.

    • Crops that thrive in the shade — think leafy greens like kale and lettuce, or root vegetables like radish and beets — are protected from harsh direct sunlight.
    • Plants, meanwhile, naturally give off water vapor that can help cool solar panels from below, improving their efficiency.

    State of play: U.S. agrivoltaic pilot programs are afoot in:

    • Rockport, Maine, where University of Maine researchers are studying the impact of solar panels installed over 11 acres of blueberry farmland.
    • Grafton, Massachusetts, where farmers are working with University of Massachusetts academics to figure out which crops perform best under solar panels' shade.
    • And Longmont, Colorado, home to Jack's Solar Garden, which considers itself the country's largest commercially active site for agrivoltaics research.

    Be smart: Farms' fundamental purpose has always been converting the sun's rays into energy. That energy has historically taken the form of calories — but agrivoltaics makes it possible for farmers to diversify their energy output, says Chad Higgins, an associate professor at Oregon State University's College of Agricultural Sciences.

    • "Do they want to create electrons in the form of electricity? Or do they want to create calories in the form of food, or a mixture of both? What's the most profitable for them? What's best for them, given their available other resources?"

    Yes, but: Some farmers are skeptical, mostly due to practical concerns. It can be hard to drive a tractor in and around a bunch of solar panels, for instance.

    • The upfront cost of installing lots of solar panels can be prohibitive — although some states, like Massachusetts, are experimenting with financial incentives.
    • That's trickier than it might sound — if producing solar power becomes dramatically more profitable than growing crops, and lots of farmers switch mostly or fully to solar, food shortages could follow.
    • Whether it makes sense for a farm to add solar also depends on whether there's an electric substation nearby. The further a substation, the more energy is lost in transmission — meaning it won't be economical to sell power into the grid.

    What's next: As researchers and early adopters figure out the best crops, tools and techniques to use — and more state, local and national governments support agrivoltaic efforts — expect to see lots more solar panels over the world's farmland in the coming years.


    • Pattern Energy closes financing on Japanese offshore wind project with 100MW/180MWh battery storage

    US-headquartered developer Pattern Energy has achieved financial close on an offshore wind project in northern Japan which will include a 100MW battery energy storage system (BESS).

    The company said in a release sent to media including on Friday (9 September) that its Ishikari Offshore Wind project around 3km off the coast of the Japanese island of Hokkaido has begun construction.

    The project comprises 112MW of wind power generation from 14 Siemens Gamesa 8MW wind turbines, which will be paired with the 100MW/180MWh BESS.

    Pattern, which develops, owns, and operates solar PV, wind, transmission and energy storage projects, said financing came from a group of major Japanese financial institutions, as well as French multinational investment bank Societe Generale.

    Pattern is working on the project with its Japanese affiliate Green Power Investment Corporation (GPI), in which the US company is a shareholder. GPI was founded in 2004 and like most renewable project developers and investors in Japan has focused largely on the solar PV market until the fairly recent emergence of the country’s wind industry.

    As such, GPI is already constructing Japan’s largest onshore wind farm, a 121MW project on which it began work in 2020. Offshore wind has taken a long time to gain traction in the country, due largely to the depth of the surrounding seas – where Europe has been able to build offshore wind on the continental shelf under sea, Japan has had to wait for some advances in wind farm design and construction for offshore wind to become feasible.

    Pattern Energy said the Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD model offshore turbine meets applicable local standards regarding resistance to seismic activity and typhoon weather, can operate in sync with the local grid’s 50Hz operating frequency and handle hot and cold ambient temperatures.

    Ishikari Offshore Wind, including the BESS, is expected to reach commercial operation towards the end of 2023.


    • Minesto starts commissioning second ‘Dragon 4’ tidal power plant

    Swedish marine energy company Minesto has started commissioning works for its second Dragon Class tidal power plant in Faroe Islands.

    The commissioning works are taking place at Minesto’s grid-connected site in Vestmanna.

    According to the company, the operation will greatly benefit from previous configuration testing executed with the first unit.

    To remind, Minesto commissioned the first 100kW Dragon Class unit in Faroe Islands in early summer.

    The first phase of electricity generation with the unit demonstrated that predicted performance is achieved in line with Minesto’s previous forecasts and simulation results.

    Even though the two ‘Dragon 4’ kites look identical, a few upgrades have been implemented on the second unit as part of the product development process, according to Minesto.

    In April 2022, Minesto launched a build-out plan for tidal energy arrays in the Faroe Islands. The plan includes four new verified sites with the potential to supply 40% of the country’s growing electricity consumption, enabling the Faroe Islands to reach their policy goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030.


    • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has received 4 bids from international companies for consultancy contract for the sixth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Dubai Media Office (DMO) announced on Tuesday.

    The single-site solar park is the largest of its kind in the world, using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, with a production capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2030.

    The production capacity of the sixth phase of the solar park will be 900 MW.

    Maktoum Solar Park’s fourth and fifth phases all set to meet 2023 deadline

    “DEWA’s total production capacity of energy is 14,117 MW. The current production capacity of the solar park is 1,627 MW using photovoltaic solar panels,” DEWA managing director and chief executive officer, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said.

    DEWA is implementing other projects at the solar park with a total capacity of 1,233 MW using photovoltaic solar panels and concentrated solar power technologies, which raises the share of clean energy production within Dubai’s energy mix to 11.5 percent.

    “This is expected to reach 14 percent by the end of this year,” Al Tayer said.
    Last edited by S Landreth; 16-09-2022 at 07:05 PM.

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    "This car was made with the goal to minimise the CO2 emitted during the manufacturing phase, the life phase and the end-of-life phase," says Jens Lahaije, a member of the Eindhoven University of Technology team who created the vehicle.

    Made mostly from 3D-printed recycled plastics, the sporty all-electric car is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack.

    Although EVs emit virtually no CO2 compared with their combustion-engine counterparts, battery cell production is highly polluting. As a result,it can take EVs tens of thousands of kilometres to achieve 'carbon parity' with comparable fossil-fuelled models.

    How will the electric car offset pollution?

    The students' Zero Emission Mobility (ZEM) car aims to offset this using carbon capture technology.

    It features two filters that can capture up to 2 kg of CO2 over 30,000 km of driving, the Eindhoven team estimates. Although this is a small amount - it would take at least 12 cars travelling 30,000 km each to absorb the same amount as the average tree in a year - the students hope to increase the capacity of the filter in coming years.

    They imagine a future when filters can be emptied at charging stations.

    "Our end goal is to create a more sustainable future," says Lahaije.

    The students are showing their vehicle on a US promotional tour to universities and companies from the East Coast to Silicon Valley.


    Morocco generates enough wind power to meet its energy demand up to 17.3 times. Windmills located in the Strait of Gibraltar and the southern Atlantic coast offer the highest levels of wind energy production. Despite the good results, the Alawi kingdom aims to increase its production capacity by 4.2GW by 2030.

    However, Morocco has not confirmed concrete targets for offshore wind energy production. The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) highlighted in a report that the Kingdom has "high-powered floating offshore wind offers" that can be of great use in reducing dependence on fossil fuels - oil, gas, coal - and reaching the Net Zero target by 2050.

    The ambition to increase wind energy production once again demonstrates the Moroccan government's commitment to the green energy transition, making the country "stand out as a market to watch", said Maf Smith, vice chair of GWEC's Offshore Floating Offshore Wind Working Group.

    The North African country not only has the largest wind farm in Africa, located in Tarfaya, but also has a huge capacity to produce offshore wind energy in the Strait of Gibraltar and the southern part of the Atlantic coast, an area where wind speeds average more than 10km per second.


    Arla and Eurowind Energy have just entered into a 10-year power purchase agreement, which will ensure that Arla reaches its target of 100 percent green electricity in Denmark by 2025. The electricity will come from a unsubsidised wind farm in Jammerbugt Municipality, which will deliver 137 GW/h electricity, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 34,000 Danish households.

    In January, Arla presented an ambitious target of using 100 percent green electricity in Europe by the end of 2025. Now the cooperative can announce a 10-year power purchase agreement with Eurowind Energy, which will ensure that Arla reaches its target in Denmark.

    With this power purchase agreement, which becomes effective on January 1 2025, at the latest, Arla commits itself to buying the electricity from an unsubsidised wind farm called Nørre Økse Sø located near the town of Brovst in Jammerbugt Municipality.

    There is already a wind farm on the site, which is a part of a re-powering project where existing turbines will be replaced by 11 newly built and up-to-date turbines. The new wind turbines are expected to become operational in November 2024 and will be able to deliver 137 GW/h electricity a year, which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 34,000 Danish households.

    Over the course of the 10-year agreement, the green energy from the turbines will provide an annual saving of 58,000 tonnes of CO2, which corresponds to 8% of Arla's total CO2 footprint for scope 1+2.

    The new agreement regarding the wind farm Nørre Økse Sø is just one of many initiatives, which provides Arla’s dairy and production plants with green electricity. In addition to the 137 GW/h electricity, which the wind farm is expected to deliver, Arla also receives renewable energy from solar cells, biogas engines, and own units from a number of Arla farms throughout Denmark. Electricity from renewable energy sources is part of Arla’s total climate target to reduce CO2-emissions from its production by 63 percent before 2030.

    Overall, Arla has already reduced its CO2-emissions from production by 25 percent since 2015.


    The Biden administration on Thursday announced plans to develop floating platforms in the deep ocean for wind towers that could power millions of homes and vastly expand offshore wind in the United States.

    The plan would target sites in the Pacific Ocean off the California and Oregon coasts, as well as in the Atlantic in the Gulf of Maine.

    President Joe Biden hopes to deploy up to 15 gigawatts of electricity through floating sites by 2035, enough to power 5 million homes. The administration has previously set a goal of 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 using traditional technology that secures wind turbines to the ocean floor.

    There are only a handful of floating offshore platforms in the world — all in Europe — but officials said the technology is developing and could soon establish the United States as a global leader in offshore wind.

    The push for offshore wind is part of Biden’s effort to promote clean energy and address global warming. Biden has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. A climate-and-tax bill Biden signed last month would spend about $375 billion over 10 years to boost electric vehicles, jump-start renewable energy such as solar and wind power and develop alternative energy sources like hydrogen.

    “Today we’re launching efforts to seize a new opportunity — floating offshore wind — which will let us build in deep water areas where turbines can’t be secured directly to the sea floor, but where there are strong winds that we can now harness,’’ White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy said at a news conference Thursday.


    As of September 2022, the Netherlands is putting the rest of Europe to shame with its solar power!

    Though we’re nowhere close to the end of the year, the Netherlands has already produced 12.5% more solar energy than was generated in the entirety of 2021, reports Trouw.

    With solar-powered energy making up an estimated 23% of the total electricity production in the Netherlands, this cheaper energy source is attractive in light of recent electricity cost increases.

    As the Dutch government continues to offer grants and tax cuts to residents who chose to install solar panels on their homes to generate energy, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing an increase in the amount of solar energy created.

    About a quarter of Dutch homes have solar panels installed on their roofs, according to Zonneplan. With tax cuts and grant offers, this means a heavier wallet, and the Dutch say ja, aalsjeblieft!

    With the cost of energy increasing what feels almost daily now, the Netherlands is in the midst of an energy crisis.

    As Russia cuts off its energy supply to Europe, the Netherlands is amongst tens of other countries trying to source new ways to provide electricity. With so much pressure being put on electricity companies to provide energy for the population, prices are skyrocketing.

    The amount of solar energy generated so far this year could power a grand total of 4.7 million homes in the Netherlands. That’s more than half of the number of houses in the entire country!

    As the Netherlands quickly becomes the frontrunner in Europe for the generation of solar power, we can see goals set by the European Parliament quickly met.

    The European Parliament plans to double the amount of solar energy generated in 2020 by 2025. The Netherlands, having now beaten its own records for the past year, will no doubt have doubled their energy output by 2025.


    • Japan Benex starts operation of 1.6-MW rooftop solar array

    Industrial and electronic equipment maker Japan Benex Corporation has started the operation of a 1.6-MW direct current (DC) rooftop solar array for the logistics facility Prologis Park Kobe 5 in Hyogo prefecture.

    The system, which benefits from a feed-in tariff (FiT) of JPY 10.7 (USD 0.075/EUR 0.074) per kWh, was built atop the logistics centre and it is Japan Benex’s 14th “roof-rental” photovoltaic (PV) array, the Japanese company announced on Monday.

    With 2,943 solar modules, the solar system has an estimated annual power generation of some 1.86 million kWh, enough to meet the demand of around 620 local households.

    HT Solar was the supplier of PV panels, while SMA Solar Technology AG (ETR:S92) provided a power conversion system (PCS) unit.

    With the launch of this new system, Japan Benex now has 31 operational power plants with a combined capacity of approximately 29.5 MW.


    • Jeep to Deploy Solar-Powered Stations in Remote Areas to Recharge Electric Off-Roaders

    Jeep has launched an EV offensive and acknowledged that its emerging range of electric off-roaders would need charging stations in the most remote areas. The off-road specialist revealed that it would deploy solar-powered charging stations on the off-road trails in the U.S. and Australia.

    Every carmaker drools over Tesla’s Supercharge network. Still, traditional car companies have preferred relying on third-party providers for the charging infrastructure. Stellantis strays off the beaten path (obviously) with its Jeep brand, which will build an off-grid charging network for its young range of electric off-roaders. The stations, installed on the most famous off-road trails, would be powered by solar energy. This was confirmed during Detroit Auto Show by Jeep boss Christian Meunier.

    According to Australian media outlet Drive, Jeep has already installed four solar-powered stations out of a batch of 18 on popular trails in North America. Now, Jeep wants to extend the network in the Australian bush and beyond, allowing off-road enthusiasts to charge their brand-new electric off-roaders where no one thought possible.

    “We will have 18 trails in the US which are ‘badge of honor’ trails, which you get a badge when you make it,” said Christian Meunier. “You can stick it on your car. And all these trails will be equipped with charging stations. I’m pushing the other regions, including Australia, to do the same.”

    Jeep's boss also announced plans to “trail-rate” its electric off-roaders the way it does with existing vehicles. For instance, the recently announced Jeep Recon will get a level-six rating, which puts it below the Wrangler in this regard, but still shows impressive capabilities.

    “The trail rating is going to stay, and it’s going to be even more stringent,” said Mr. Meunier. “We’re going to push the limit of what you can do, and the Recon is going to be trail-rated six, which make the Rubicon Trail. The Wrangler is 10, so the king remains the king for now and forever.”

    There were no details about the solar-powered charging stations that Jeep deploys on the trails. Still, we suspect they would have, besides solar panels, a sizeable storage battery. This approach differs from Rivian’s, which offers remote charging services for customers with a flat battery. Hopefully, Jeep’s take will be followed by other carmakers, helping accelerate EV adoption.



    • The eco-friendly homes that didn’t lose power after Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico

    Over 1 million homes and businesses in Puerto Rico are still without power after Hurricane Fiona struck the island on Sunday.

    The then category 1 hurricane drenched parts of the island in more than 20 inches of rain causing flash flooding, mudslides and wiping out power across the entire island.

    But there were a few homes that, miraculously, were able to keep the lights on amid the storm — two prototype homes powered by solar energy.

    A New York and Puerto Rico-based nonprofit called the Acacia Network paid to build the homes on land donated by the government and designed by Marvel Architects, according to Fast Company, after Hurricane Maria.

    The homes were built with reinforced walls meant to withstand earthquakes and hurricane winds and include design aspects like natural cross ventilation to help keep the home cool, the outlet reported.

    They are also equipped with solar panels to provide residents with electricity and features to collect and store filtered rainwater so that occupants can live free of the island’s power and water grid.

    In an ironic twist, excessive rainfall brought by hurricanes can damage water supply systems and overburden them to the point where untreated water enters potable water sources, leaving people without anything to drink.

    As a result of Hurricane Fiona, over 741,000 customers of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, the island’s only water company, do not have clean water, according to the government emergency portal system.

    That number means that almost 60 percent of Puerto Rico’s homes and businesses currently do not have drinkable water, two days after the hurricane hit and amid a heat advisory for northern parts of the island.

    Before Fiona, power outages on the island were common. When Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico in 2017 it wiped out the island’s antiquated and fragile power grid causing every home and business to lose power. And it has never fully recovered.

    To help fix this, a private power company, LUMA Energy, was brought in to control the management and distribution of the island’s electricity.

    But power outages remained, and some argue got worse, after LUMA came along, along with higher monthly power bills.
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    Soon, hogs won't make much noise.

    Driving the news: Harley-Davidson on Tuesday spun off its electric motorcycle division as a separate, publicly traded company.

    • LiveWire made its public debut in a SPAC deal with AEA-Bridges Impact Corp, known as ABIC, in a $1.8 billion merger aimed at funding its development of EV bikes.
    • The shares were trading down 2.8% to $8.75 shortly after 3pm.

    The big picture: Harley, whose bikes are affectionately referred to by its fans as hogs, has been straining to reinvent itself for years, having struggled to sell traditional motorcycles to younger generations.

    • The company is hoping to take advantage of investors' enthusiasm for EVs as it retains a 74% stake in LiveWire.

    What's next: Harley-Davidson CEO Jochen Zeitz, who will serve as CEO of LiveWire for up to two years, told Axios on Tuesday that LiveWire will focus on "urban adventure" bikes.

    • LiveWire will "focus on those new segments that we think we can grow," he said — namely shorter-range rides like the 110-mile S2 Del Mar, which will be released in the spring.
    • Down the road, Harley will develop its own longer-range electric motorcycles with greater capacity to tour the country, Zeitz said.

    The impact: Harley's goal is to be "carbon neutral" by 2050, though Zeitz acknowledged that the technology to transform Harley's "core" products into pure EVs will take longer.


    The Department of Homeland Security has debuted its first battery electric vehicle customized for use in law enforcement missions.

    The upfitted Ford Mustang Mach-E will be assigned to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers’ office in Cheltenham, Maryland, the department said Monday.

    “DHS is proud to be the first Federal agency to upfit a battery electric vehicle for law enforcement use. As we ramp up EV adoption, we are excited to see how this and other EVs perform for our mission,” said Homeland Security Deputy Secretary John Tien.

    The transition to BEVs is part of the department’s climate action plan to reduce carbon footprint through water resilience, fleet electrification and other sustainability initiatives.

    DHS completed the EV customization work in accordance with Federal Protective Service standards in April.

    FPS is currently conducting controlled performance benchmarking and cybersecurity assessments of the Mach-E to identify and address potential risks posed by converting the FPS fleet into electric vehicles.


    Ballard (BLDP) will supply Stadler Rail AG with six 100 kW FCmove-HD+ fuel cell engines.

    The engines will power the first hydrogen train in the U.S.

    Stadler, based in Switzerland, has been providing mobility solutions in rail vehicle construction, service and signalling technology for over 80 years. Its product range includes high-speed trains, intercity trains, regional and suburban trains, metros, tramways and trams.

    The contract to provide the hydrogen-powered train was awarded to Stadler by the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority. The train is expected to be in service in San Bernardino, California in 2024 and will seat over 100 passengers.

    “We continue to see the critical role hydrogen will play in decarbonizing our economy. We are excited to work with Stadler to reduce emissions in the transportation sector and bring the first hydrogen-powered, zero-emission passenger train to the U.S.,” stated Randy MacEwen, Ballard’s CEO.

    “Stadler is committed to designing and building green technology for the transportation industry,” added Martin Ritter, CEO of Stadler U.S. “We are delighted to work alongside innovative organizations, like SBCTA and Ballard, that share our enthusiasm to reduce emissions in the sector.”

    Ballard Power Systems offers fuel cells that enable the adoption of electric vehicles.


    Dutch aerospace engineer Olaf de Swart wanted to work in the renewable energy field after graduating from Delft University of Technology in 2009 with a specialization in flexible solar panels, but the Great Financial Crisis had other plans. After the Lehman Brothers crash, the only job he could find was as a project engineer at Damen Shipyards. Shipbuilding was one of the few industries not paralyzed by the financial collapse. Although his “passion lay elsewhere,” he accepted the gig.

    De Swart received a small budget from Damen in 2017 to investigate his idea, but when he applied to be part of Damen’s innovation program—Codenamed “Morpheus” – In 2018 the shipbuilder gave up developing offshore solar panels in-house as the concept was outside its core business and could compete with its energy customers. Damen’s decision motivated de Swart and several of Damen’s colleagues to start their own floating offshore solar farm company called SolarDuck.

    Today, the startup is collaborating with German energy company RWE to build a pilot floating photovoltaic (FPV) plant that will open next year in the Belgian North Sea. The facility will be one of the first truly high-wave offshore facilities and the first to use a unique triangular design designed to help it survive heavy seas – one of the major obstacles to offshore solar installations.

    The 0.5-megawatt-peak pilot (or MWp, a measure of maximum potential output power) will be an important step in proving that offshore solar farms can provide reliable and cost-effective power for land-scarce countries in Asia, Europe and the United States can deliver to the Caribbean. (SolarDuck declined to disclose the cost of the project; RWE will “invest” in the project, the German firm says.)

    “We’re focusing on countries that don’t have enough space to build solar on a large scale, so they can’t take advantage of the low electricity prices that solar power can bring,” says de Swart. “And in those countries, if you look at where most of the population is, it’s in what we call the sunbelt region around the equator.”

    Burgers, CEO of SolarDuck, says the floating platforms – the triangles are more than 30 meters on each side – are designed to withstand waves as high as 14 meters. For comparison, in 2020, the world’s first high-wave offshore solar project was commended by Oceans of Energy for surviving 5-meter waves. This project has since survived 10-meter waves and is designed to withstand up to 14-meter waves, the company says.

    SolarDuck and RWE’s North Sea pilot plant – consisting of six triangles connected to form a hexagon – is scheduled to open next April with a capacity of 0.5 MWp. As a next step, the two companies plan to connect a SolarDuck floating 5 MWp offshore solar plant – consisting of around 70 triangles – to an RWE wind farm that the utility is bidding to build 53 kilometers off the Dutch coast. Blending the two energy sources is attractive for future installations because “wind and sun are complementary,” says Evan Rosenlieb, NREL’s engineering lead for floating solar work. “It tends to be windier at night.”

    The 5 MWp floating facility would be larger than any deep sea offshore farms currently in existence, although Oceans of Energy plans to scale to 15 MW in its next growth round. The largest floating offshore solar project installed to date is a 181 MWp farm near Taiwan, but in a sheltered location close to shore.


    Another source of renewable energy has been put to the test after working for a year and so far, the results are back with good news. The “artificial blowhole” in Australia was able to generate electricity from the waves.

    UniWave was able to get renewable energy from the ocean through 200 waves

    Although renewable energy is mostly generated from the sun or wind, another test has shown that it can also be generated through water. A CNet article shares how an artificial blowhole was able to generate electricity from waves.

    The structure was built with a massive concrete base and a hollow central chamber

    The structure reportedly consists of a massive concrete base with a hollow central chamber and an opening for the waves to enter. As the water begins to rise and fall within the chamber, air is pushed through the turbine.

    Once the air is pushed and circulated through the turbine, this is where the electricity will be generated. The chamber is reportedly an artificial version of a blowhole, a natural phenomenon in which rising waves compress the air inside a cave.

    Year-long run to measure both energy efficiency and availability

    Blowholes result in seawater bursting outward due to compressed air from rising waves. The device has successfully completed its year-long trial run located in King Island, Australia.

    The two main metrics measured by the Wave Swell Energy team during the experiment were both its efficiency and availability. Efficiency involves how much wave energy was converted into electrical energy.


    • Saudi Arabia launches five projects to produce electricity using renewable energy

    Saudi Arabia announced the launch of five new projects to produce electricity using renewable energy, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday.

    SPA added that the projects were launched by the Saudi Power Procurement Company as part of the fourth stage of the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Energy.

    The scheme will include three projects to produce power through wind with a capacity reaching 1,800 megawatts and two projects to produce power through solar energy reaching a capacity of 1,500 megawatts, reaching an overall capacity of 3,300 megawatts, SPA added.

    The NREP, according to a statement on the Ministry of Energy’s website, aims to maximize the use of renewable energy in Saudi Arabia that comes hand-in-hand with Vision 2030.

    One of the main goals of Vision 2030 is for the contribution of renewable energy to reach up to 50 percent of the overall energy mix by 2030.

    “The NREP program sets out an organized and specific road map to diversify local energy sources, stimulate economic development and provide sustainable economic stability to the Kingdom in light of the goals set for Vision 2030, which include establishing the renewable energy industry and supporting the advancement of this promising sector while working to fulfill the Kingdom’s commitments to reducing carbon dioxide emissions,” the statement said.


    • Taiya Renewable Energy, BW Ideol in Floating Wind Pact

    Taiya Renewable Energy on Tuesday announced a joint development of a floating offshore wind pipeline including a 50 MW floating wind pilot-project and commercial-scale projects offshore Taiwan with floating wind specialist BW Ideol.

    "This cooperation is the first project of a Taiwanese developer to announce its entry into floating pilot wind projects. It is also the first time that an international advanced floating key contributor has announced cooperation with Taiwan to participate in the development of floating wind projects," Taiya Renewable Energy said.

    The projects are based on BW Ideol’s Damping Pool technology, and BW Ideol has been granted the EPCI contract to design, engineer, build and install the floating foundations.

    "The two companies intend to collaborate very closely to contribute to the early commercialization of cost-competitive floating offshore wind power," Taiya Renewable Energy said.

    "Taiwan MOEA also announced a 100 MW auction for pilot floating arrays in deeper waters. Taiya Renewable Energy and BW Ideol are determined to successfully make a contribution to Taiwan's floating wind pilot projects," the company added.

    In addition to the pilot projects, the cooperation agreement also includes the joint development of several commercial-scale floating wind projects in Taiwan, which have already started the EIA process to ensure they meet the bidding schedule. The specific development content of the two cooperations will be subject to further due diligence and negotiation of the final agreements among the parties.


    Simon Evans - Behold, the energy transition:

    Wind and solar now make up 75% of global electricity capacity growth, while coal has fallen to just 4%:

    Dr. Leah Stokes - A decade ago, around half of new electricity capacity came from clean sources, globally. Last year, it was 85% clean!

    Slowly yet surely, we will stop building all new fossil fuel projects. The issue now is speed! Celebrate progress, and keep pushing for more.

  22. #597
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    I love the idea of pumped hydro.

    Uses the excess energy generated (hopefully) by Solar during the day to pump the water up the hill and, at night generates electricity in a method similar to a traditional Hydro electric system.

    In the right places, reduced infrastructure is needed, as in two disused mines (think of them as two large ponds) near each other, one being higher in altitude than the other.

    A state in Australia has just released a huge plan to change how electricity is produced in that State.

    I'll let others report on that. Below is how 'Pumped Hydro' works.

    Potential to be amongst the world's largest 'batteries'.

    Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago ...

  23. #598
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    A renewable energy plant being commissioned in Oregon on Wednesday that combines solar power, wind power and massive batteries to store the energy generated there is the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America.

    The project, which will generate enough electricity to power a small city at maximum output, addresses a key challenge facing the utility industry as the U.S. transitions away from fossil fuels and increasingly turns to solar and wind farms for power. Wind and solar are clean sources of power, but utilities have been forced to fill in gaps when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining with fossil fuels like coal or natural gas.

    At the Oregon plant, massive lithium batteries will store up to 120 megawatt-hours of power generated by the 300-megawatt wind farms and 50-megawatt solar farm so it can be released to the electric grid on demand. At maximum output, the facility will produce more than half of the power that was generated by Oregon's last coal plant, which was demolished earlier this month.

    On-site battery storage isn't new, and interest in solar-plus-battery projects in particular has soared in the U.S. in recent years due to robust tax credits and incentives and the falling price of batteries. The Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility in Oregon, however, is the first in the U.S. to combine integrated wind, solar and battery storage at such a large scale in one location, giving it even more flexibility to generate continuous output without relying on fossil fuels to fill in the gaps.

    The project is "getting closer and closer to having something with a very stable output profile that we traditionally think of being what's capable with a fuel-based generation power plant," said Jason Burwen, vice president of energy storage at the American Clean Power Association, an advocacy group for the clean power industry.

    "If the solar is chugging along and cloud cover comes over, the battery can kick in and make sure that the output is uninterrupted. As the sun goes down and the wind comes online, the battery can make sure that that's very smooth so that it doesn't, to the grid operator, look like anything unusual."

    The plant located in a remote expanse three hours east of Portland is a partnership between NextEra Energy Resources and Portland General Electric, a public utility required to reduce carbon emissions by 100% by 2040 under an Oregon climate law passed last year, one of the most ambitious in the nation.

    PGE's customers are also demanding green power — nearly a quarter-million customers receive only renewable energy — and the Wheatridge project is "key to that decarbonization strategy," said Kristen Sheeran, PGE's director of sustainability strategy and resource planning.

    Many researchers and pilots are working on alternatives to lithium ion batteries, however, largely because their intrinsic chemistry limits them to around four hours of storage and a longer duration would be more useful.

    "There is no silver bullet. There's no model or prototype that's going to meet that entire need ... but wind and solar will certainly be in the mix," said PGE's Sheeran.

    "This model can become a tool for decarbonization across the West as the whole country is driving toward very ambitious climate reduction goals."

  24. #599
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    “Today, with the techniques we have with big data and analytics, we can design efficiency into the system in a way that we couldn’t 10 or 15 years ago. We have a target to improve the efficiency of our engines by 20% or 25% by the end of the dec[at]ade,” Linebarger says. “The next step is mostly fueling; it’s not really much else to do with the engine at that point. Once you are perfectly efficient, it’s hybridization and fuel.”

    Linebarger created a New Power division at Cummins in 2018 to design battery and fuel-cell power systems and hydrogen-generation technology that may supplant its diesel business by the 2030s. To shore it up, Cummins bought fuel-cell and hydrogen developer Hydrogenics, took a stake in Sion Power to develop lithium-metal batteries and started a joint venture with Chinese oil company Sinopec to produce hydrogen from renewable sources. Led by Amy Davis, New Power is initially focused on batteries and motors for light and medium trucks, and hydrogen fuel-cell systems for rail applications and stationary power generation. Long-haul hydrogen-fueled powertrains for semis are in the works but won’t likely be a core business until the late 2020s, she says.

    With advances in battery packs and offerings for lighter commercial vehicles, fleet operators are “getting their head around last-mile trucks” but are concerned about replacing diesel systems in semis and heavy-duty trucks, Davis said while she and Linebarger were in Scotland for the climate-change conference in November. Cummins customers have concerns that battery-only systems—like Musk’s planned semis that go up to 500 miles—aren’t realistic. It isn’t just the size of the battery that gets in the way. It’s the paucity of charging stations.

    Davis described customers asking, “What about my long haul? I couldn’t even charge three of my trucks at once, given the system that’s out there for charging. So what are we going to do?” Her answer: “The fuel-cell electric drivetrain can be quite complementary with the battery work that’s going on.”

    To further bolster its clean powertrain tech, the company on February 22 unveiled a plan to buy components maker Meritor in a deal valued at $3.7 billion. “The addition of their complementary strengths will help us address one of the most critical technology challenges of our age: developing economically viable zero-carbon solutions for commercial and industrial applications,” Linebarger said of the acquisition.

    Along with truck makers including Daimler, Volvo and startup Nikola, Cummins sees battery power as a viable option for heavy trucks that need only 200 miles of daily range, such as rigs hauling cargo from ports or running fixed delivery routes. For trucks needing to travel 300 miles or more between fueling, hydrogen power looks more attractive, particularly since a fuel-cell system that converts the element to electricity is lighter than a battery pack. Hydrogen’s refueling time can be comparable to that of diesel.

    Cummins reported sales from the New Power of $116 million last year. That number is a fraction of total company revenue but greater than the combined sales of commercial EV makers Rivian, Arrival and Nikola, which are just starting fleet deliveries.

    Matthew Elkott, who covers Cummins for Cowen & Co., says the path Linebarger has laid out—blending steady efficiency gains for conventional engines and readying next-generation technology—looks right. “We don’t know yet what’s going to be the most ubiquitous technology 10 or 20 years from now, but [Cummins is] going to help migrate a lot of those customers toward whatever the future looks like.”


    Anthony Grande moved away from Fort Myers three years ago in large part because of the hurricane risk. He has lived in southwest Florida for nearly 19 years, had experienced Hurricanes Charley in 2004 and Irma in 2017 and saw what stronger storms could do to the coast.

    Grande told CNN he wanted to find a new home where developers prioritized climate resiliency in a state that is increasingly vulnerable to record-breaking storm surge, catastrophic wind and historic rainfall.

    What he found was Babcock Ranch — only 12 miles northeast of Fort Myers, yet seemingly light years away.

    Babcock Ranch calls itself “America’s first solar-powered town.” Its nearby solar array — made up of 700,000 individual panels — generates more electricity than the 2,000-home neighborhood uses, in a state where most electricity is generated by burning natural gas, a planet-warming fossil fuel.

    The streets in this meticulously planned neighborhood were designed to flood so houses don’t. Native landscaping along roads helps control storm water. Power and internet lines are buried to avoid wind damage. This is all in addition to being built to Florida’s robust building codes.

    Some residents, like Grande, installed more solar panels on their roofs and added battery systems as an extra layer of protection from power outages. Many drive electric vehicles, taking full advantage of solar energy in the Sunshine State.

    So when Hurricane Ian came barreling toward southwest Florida this week, it was a true test for the community. The storm obliterated the nearby Fort Myers and Naples areas with record-breaking surge and winds over 100 mph. It knocked out power to more than 2.6 million customers in the state, including 90% of Charlotte County.

    But the lights stayed on in Babcock Ranch.

    “It certainly exceeded our expectations of a major hurricane,” Grande, 58, told CNN.

    The storm uprooted trees and tore shingles from roofs, but other than that Grande said there is no major damage. Its residents say Babcock Ranch is proof that an eco-conscious and solar-powered town can withstand the wrath of a near-Category 5 storm.

    “We have proof of the case now because [the hurricane] came right over us,” Nancy Chorpenning, a 68-year-old Babcock Ranch resident, told CNN. “We have water, electricity, internet — and we may be the only people in Southwest Florida who are that fortunate.”


    EMPower, a Dublin-based renewable energy developer, has received approval from An Bord Pleanála (ABP) to build a large wind farm in Co Kerry that will require an investment of €60m.

    Last week, ABP granted EMPower approval to develop 10 of the initial 12 turbines it had planned to build, which will be capable of generating enough energy for around 30,000 homes.

    Speaking with the Sunday Independent, EMPower founder Diarmuid Twomey said he was “delighted” with the result as his team had been working on this project for four years.

    However, he highlighted the need for more Government action to help speed up decisions.

    “This project, along with several others released by ABP this week, will allow for a robust auction process to be run in 2023 and ensures the pipeline of projects required to meet the 2030 targets is maintained,” he said.

    “One point to note is that this permit was 91 weeks in the strategic infrastructure process, which clearly highlights the urgency with which our Government needs to properly resource ABP if we are to achieve the 80pc renewable energy targets.”

    Shronowen will now enter the ECP grid process, with ABP sharing its decision one day before the deadline.

    It will also participate in the RESS (Renewable Electricity Support Scheme) 3 auctions in the summer of 2023. Success would allow for construction to commence in the summer of 2024.

    Twomey said plans for phase two of the Shronowen project had already started. It would add four extra turbines, 14 across the two phases, and bring the total investment to €81.9m.

    When both phases are complete, it will be capable of providing power to around 45,000 homes.

    In February 2021, the Sunday Independent reported EMPower had agreed to a 50-50 partnership with Morrison & Co, backed by several significant Australian and New Zealand pension funds, to develop wind farms in Ireland.


    A renewable-energy plant in Oregon that combines solar power, wind power and huge batteries to store the energy generated there was commissioned last week as the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America.

    The project, which will generate enough electricity to power a small city at maximum output, addresses a key challenge facing the utility industry as the U.S. transitions away from fossil fuels and increasingly turns to solar and wind farms for power. Wind and solar are clean sources of power, but utilities have been forced to fill in gaps when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining with fossil fuels like coal or natural gas.

    At the Oregon plant, enormous lithium batteries will store up to 120 megawatt-hours of power generated by the 300-megawatt wind farms and 50-megawatt solar farm so it can be released to the electric grid on demand. At maximum output, the facility will produce more than half of the power that was generated by Oregon's last coal plant, which was demolished earlier this month.

    On-site battery storage isn't new, and interest in solar-plus-battery projects in particular has soared in the U.S. in recent years due to robust tax credits and incentives and the falling price of batteries. The Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility in Lexington, Ore., however, is the first in the U.S. to combine integrated wind, solar and battery storage at such a large scale in one location, giving it even more flexibility to generate continuous output without relying on fossil fuels to fill in the gaps.

    The project is "getting closer and closer to having something with a very stable output profile that we traditionally think of being what's capable with a fuel-based generation power plant," said Jason Burwen, vice president of energy storage at the American Clean Power Association, an advocacy group for the clean power industry.

    "If the solar is chugging along and cloud cover comes over, the battery can kick in and make sure that the output is uninterrupted. As the sun goes down and the wind comes online, the battery can make sure that that's very smooth so that it doesn't, to the grid operator, look like anything unusual."

    The plant located in a remote expanse three hours east of Portland is a partnership between NextEra Energy Resources and Portland General Electric, a public utility required to reduce carbon emissions by 100% by 2040 under an Oregon climate law passed last year, one of the most ambitious in the nation.

    PGE's customers are also demanding green power -- nearly a quarter-million customers receive only renewable energy -- and the Wheatridge project is "key to that decarbonization strategy," said Kristen Sheeran, PGE's director of sustainability strategy and resource planning.

    Under the partnership, PGE owns one-third of the wind output and purchases all the facility's power for its renewable energy portfolio. NextEra, which developed the site and operates it, owns two-thirds of the wind output and all of the solar output and storage.

    "The mere fact that many other customers are looking at these types of facilities gives you a hint at what we think could be possible," said David Lawlor, NextEra's director of business development for the Pacific Northwest. "Definitely customers want firmer generation, starting with the battery storage in the back."


    The Biden administration is taking another step toward advancing the use of the Defense Production Act to bolster clean energy.

    In June, President Biden authorized the Energy Department to invoke the Defense Production Act to speed up the production of solar, electric grid, heat pump and other technologies.

    Now, the Energy Department is taking an initial step to set that in motion.

    That step entailed releasing a formal Request for Information, asking the public how the law can best be used, according to a press release that was first shared with The Hill.

    The Defense Production Act gives the president the authority to mobilize a certain industry in order to advance national security. Under the law, the president can prioritize contracts for certain types of products and use financial incentives to expand manufacturing capacity.

    “The Defense Production Act provides us with a vital tool to make targeted investments in key technology areas that are essential to ensuring power grid reliability and achieving our clean energy future,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

    “DOE is eager to continue hearing ideas from industry, labor, environmental, energy justice, and state, local and Tribal stakeholders about how we can best use this powerful new authority to support the clean energy workforce and technologies needed to combat climate change,” she added.

    The department is specifically seeking to gather information on technology supply chain challenges and opportunities, domestic manufacturing, workforce investment and issues related to equality.


    • US-Pacific Partnership could be the catalyst for effective global action on climate

    In the recent declaration from the U.S.-Pacific Partnership, a commitment “to tackling the climate crisis together as a priority” is the third of 11 priorities.

    The declaration resolves to bolster Pacific regionalism, advance economic growth and sustainable development, maintain peace and security across the Blue Pacific Continent, prepare to respond to natural disasters and to support economic growth and sustainable development.

    An announcement of more than $860 million was expected for a range of programs.

    The U.S. sees this agreement as security for the Pacific in the face of growing Chinese influence but many of the small island states see it primarily as a down payment on debt, restitution for climate change caused by the world’s biggest polluters.

    Recently at the UN General Assembly on Sept. 13 the President of Vanuatu became the first national leader to call for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels. He said, “Fundamental human rights are being violated, and we are measuring climate change not in degrees of Celsius or tonnes of carbon, but in human lives.”

    At their July forum, the Pacific Island leaders declared “a climate emergency that threatens the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of its people and ecosystems”, as evidenced by the “latest science and the daily lived realities in Pacific communities.” This would be their priority at the forthcoming UN climate conference COP 27 in Cairo.

    Some of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change are asking for a “climate-related and justice-based” global tax, as a way of funding payments for loss and damage suffered by the developing world and demonstrations are occurring around Africa ahead of the meeting in Cairo seeking reparations.

    Denmark and some other small developed countries have already stepped in to make donations.

    Since the recent election for prime minster in Australia — dubbed the “climate election”— the country has announced an improved but modest 2030 emissions target of 43 percent but continues walking both sides of the street with fossil fuel interests, accompanied by its close ally, the United States.

    For over a decade, the Pacific Island nations have requested Australia cease new gas and coal developments. This has led to frustration and difficult relationships.

    The concerns of the Pacific leaders recently increased when Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine Kin announced huge offshore increases for oil and gas production and Prime Minister Albanese alluded to protecting onshore gas production from emission controls to aid its export.

    The flaw common to the Australian and U.S. governments is that our effort to reduce emissions is based on transition to renewable energy driven by market mechanisms and dependent on electoral constraints. We do not have time. A recent op-ed in the Hill from University of Maine Professor Paul Andrew Mayewski and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Anders Beal explains “The phase-out of fossil fuels is moving in the opposite direction (to what is needed) and represents an existential threat to the planet. Without greater ambition, without serious bipartisan efforts to address the most critical issue of the century, we are leaving behind an unthinkable legacy. We cannot let the planet become uninhabitable for future.” Countless anxious scientists agree.

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