Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables  -  March 13, 2021

Weekend reads: How to make Biden's EV charging target a reality; The cracks in China's emissions plan

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

China aims to be carbon neutral by 2060. Its new 5-year plan won’t cut it. (Vox) On Friday, China released a draft summary of its 14th Five-Year Plan, the all-important document that not only guides the country’s economic development but also has huge consequences for global carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. The new plan’s 2025 emissions goals reflect an ongoing contradiction between China’s short-term and long-term climate goals. In the long run, China has expressed a strong commitment to climate action. President Xi Jinping surprised the world last September when he announced that China would aim to reach carbon neutrality by 2060. Climate scientists have called for countries to hit that goal by 2050, but it was still a significant step forward for China — the first time the country made any formal commitment to zeroing out its emissions.

President Biden hopes to build 500,000 new electric car chargers by 2030. We talked to 5 experts about how to make that happen. (Business Insider) With plans to eliminate the country's carbon footprint by 2050, Joe Biden could easily be the greenest president in American history. But achieving such a flashy goal will involve plenty of work in much more mundane areas, like having enough spots to charge a rapidly growing fleet of electric vehicles. Even with 1.8 million battery-powered cars already on US roads, there are only about 100,000 charging plugs for them at around 41,000 public station locations. That disparity makes it easy to see how range anxiety — or the fear of running out of juice without a charging spot nearby — is one of the biggest hurdles for consumers considering a clean car.

Webinar: The Power of Now: Top reasons to add onsite solar and storage to your portfolio (SunPower) Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. As solar and energy storage costs decline and use cases expand, investing in energy storage for your site brings more and more benefit as storage technology advances. Energy storage systems sizes are increasing, providing an opportunity to drive greater savings and meaningfully influence customer energy procurement decisions. Backup power and other resiliency solutions are creating opportunities for solar and storage systems to do more than just reduce your energy bill. The emergence of grid services markets create opportunities for customer to earn utility and market revenue from their projects. In this webinar, we'll discuss these trends and how they create a need for customers to focus on the benefit of onsite solar and storage. REGISTER HERE

A timely new approach to certifying clean energy (Google) Google Cloud operates the cleanest cloud in the industry. It’s a leadership role we’re incredibly proud of and one that requires continued investment and evolution in the way we consume and track our energy usage around the world. When we announced that Google aims to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030, we committed to reaching our goal in ways that empower others to do the same. One area we’re especially excited about is advancing tools that help companies and organizations better track and certify their use of clean electricity. Addressing climate change calls for quickly decarbonizing the world’s electricity supply. In practice, this will require finding ways to match carbon-free resources and electricity demand in every hour, on every regional grid. Yet the systems that Google and other large energy buyers use today to certify clean power procurement only function at the monthly or annual scale. By building more detailed energy tracking systems, we can incentivize approaches to supplying carbon-free energy exactly when, and where, it’s most needed.

When Environmental, Societal, And Governance Needs Marry In The Right Way. (Forbes) Climate change and its implications have been a third rail for much of the world for a long time. No one economy and no one government has ever locked into a sustainable model between government and business. Now might be the moment where that third rail concept is solved. Today’s discussion on a personal and scientific level with one of the world’s leading climate scientists, Dr. Jeff Arnold who is the chief climate researcher for the US army core of engineers is a unique insight into how the moment may now have transpired to make a change. There are four factors colliding here for real change: Raw processing power, a new generational focus, commercial interests, and pure evidence.

Why companies are “greening” their supply chains – and what it means for your business (Fast Company) “Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you,” wrote the environmentalist Wendell Berry. It’s an apt description of how, in 2021, more and more businesses are thinking about their carbon footprint. Companies are no longer concerned solely with the emissions generated by their own operations; they’re also thinking about the impact of their entire supply chain: OEMs, utilities, and transportation. This means more and more businesses will come under environmental scrutiny not just from regulators or the public, but also from their own customers. Add to that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which, with all the shortages of vital goods and fragile logistics it revealed, has brought widespread public attention to supply chains, and it means more companies will exit the pandemic with a broader focus, looking at upstream and downstream pollution as part of their responsibility.

France’s love affair with nuclear power will continue, but change is afoot (CNBC) France is recognized for being a hotbed of culture, gastronomy and style. The country is also something of a world leader in another field: nuclear power. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, France is home to 56 operational nuclear power reactors, second only to the U.S., which has 94. Together, these French facilities have a combined capacity of 61,370 megawatts (MW). And when it comes to nuclear’s share in French electricity production, the IAEA says it was 70.6% in 2019, the highest in the world. Below, CNBC’s “Sustainable Energy” takes a look at the role nuclear could play in the energy future of both France and the wider world.


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