Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Regulation, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  February 15, 2020

Weekend reads: Warren Buffett's energy revolution; Hydrogen-powered trains in India

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

Warren Buffett Has Started The Biggest Energy Revolution (Forbes) This may sound like a joke if you’ve followed this sector for long, but the hands-down winner of 2019 was solar stocks. Invesco Solar ETF (TAN) ran up 51% in just a year, becoming last year’s best-performing ETF. This ETF holds a basket of stocks that build solar parks, make solar panels and other components, all to produce solar energy. But let me tell you, last year’s 51% gain is just pennies compared to what’s coming. Last September, Warren Buffett struck a historic deal marking the beginning of the biggest disruption in energy since the First Industrial Revolution. (It’s one of the few sectors I’m personally investing in).

Indian Railways to launch Hydrogen-powered train (ETEnergyWorld) New Delhi: India Railways is working on development of a Hydrogen-powered suburban train and has floated an Expression of Interest for industry participation, rail minister Piyush Goyal said. “Hydrogen is planned to be sourced from industry in India. Hydrogen production is not planned by Indian Railways. The decision on deployment of hydrogen-propelled trains for long-distance routes will be based on the development of the technology,” Goyal said in a written reply in Parliament.

The Next Big Solar Technology? #Intersolar2020 (CleanTechnica) Disruptive advances in solar technology are unusual, with industry-wide design improvements often taking place in very small increments. These small changes create the buzz at solar trade shows like Intersolar North America, which is wrapping up this week in San Diego. However, one standout concept on display here is the Intensifying Solar Panel, a low concentrating solar device that includes its own internal tracker, now four years in development. The company reckons it can deliver the panels at roughly half the cost of a standard solar panel, thanks to a variety of technology improvements.

The false promise of “renewable natural gas” (Vox) Concurrently, two of the biggest sources of GHGs, transportation and buildings, must switch over to run on that zero-carbon power. This strategy — for which I use the shorthand “electrify everything!” — is beginning to catch on, especially in California, which is always something of a preview of broader trends to come. In a relatively short span of time, a robust “all-electric movement” has emerged, as dozens of towns and cities take steps to encourage all-electric construction in new buildings. Natural gas utilities do not like this movement one bit.

Fashion Week Is Simply Not Sustainable (The Cut) Last season, there was a lot of talk during Fashion Month about offsetting carbon emissions. This season, we have a sense of how much CO2 is emitted annually by fashion people and clothing collections moving around the planet: about 241,000 tons, or enough to power Times Square for 58 years. That’s according to a new report, Zero to Market, that was highlighted in the New York Times today. The report was released by the fashion technology company Ordre and a climate-change consultancy called the Carbon Trust. Together, they looked at a year’s worth of data from the thousands of retailers and brands that send people to major Fashion Weeks and trade shows. New York Fashion Week, I’m sorry to say, was responsible for a full 37 percent of the emissions.

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