Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables, Wind - February 8, 2020
Weekend Reads: Bernie's plan for federally-run electricity production; Airbnb's initiative for sustainable travel
It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.
The Big Dirty Secret Behind Wind Power (Bloomberg) Despite Trump’s unwavering opposition to climate-friendly policies, the switch to renewable energy continues. Texas and Iowa, already leaders in the field, installed more wind turbines than ever last year. The country as a whole installed 9.1 gigawatts of wind power in 2019, the most since the expiration of federal tax credits triggered a building boom almost a decade ago.
What Is Blockchain For? Helping Oil Companies Meet Their New Green Targets (Forbes) Pressure is growing on the sector to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions - and campaigners will want to see evidence that companies are doing what they claim. The recent news that ExxonMobil’s share price is at the same level as it was 10 years ago highlights the challenges that the oil and gas industry faces in getting to grips with the decarbonization of the global economy. Once the biggest company in the world, ExxonMobil dropped out of the S&P 500’s top 10 last year. Yet unlike many of its rivals that are starting to diversify away from their core activities, the largest oil major shows little sign of moving away from its reliance on oil and gas.
Power to the people: Bernie calls for federal takeover of electricity production (Politico) Sen. Bernie Sanders has put nationalizing health insurance at the center of his presidential campaign, but his proposal to fight climate change also calls for a government takeover of a fundamental segment of the economy — electricity production. Sanders has laid out a $16 trillion climate change plan that would transition U.S. electricity generation away from fossil fuels to renewable resources like wind, solar and hydropower by 2030. That’s far faster than any other Democratic candidate's target and sets a pace that rivals like former Vice President Joe Biden say is unrealistic.
Eigg, how the small Scottish island achieved renewable energy self-sufficiency (Lifegate) The island of Eigg, located 20 kilometres from Scottish mainland, has achieved a milestone in sustainable development: complete self-sufficiency based on renewable energy. It used to rely on diesel generators for a few hours of electricity a day but in 2008 it became the first community in the world to launch an off-grid system based on renewable sources, the wind, water and sun. This gave 24-hour access to power to its residents for the first time and despite the local population having risen from around 65 at the end of the 1990s to more than 100 due to the influx of outsiders who have married locals, energy provision has remained sufficient to satisfy everyone’s needs.
Airbnb Launches New Sustainability Program To Reduce Its Carbon Footprint (The Rising) Though Airbnb already serves over 150 million users around the world, the company isn’t finished growing its influence. Now, Airbnb wants to take its carbon footprint into its own hands — starting at the grassroots level. It wants to keep traveling fun and affordable, but not at the cost of environmental sustainability. To accomplish this mission, Airbnb has just launched an educational hub for its members to learn how to reduce their ecological footprints. Through the initiative, Airbnb hopes to decrease net food waste and improve energy efficiency.
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