Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Microgrids, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  June 20, 2020

Weekend reads: Creating wind turbines with 3D-printing; EU set to surpass RE goal

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

California To Fight Wildfires With Microgrids And Batteries (Forbes) California’s energy regulators just laid the framework for utilities to develop localized microgrids with battery storage — a move that comes in the aftermath of the state’s wildfires that have ravaged local economies and left consumers without power. Just how effective will this order be? California is the national leader when it comes to addressing climate change and facilitating the use of renewable energies and green technologies. But the concern is that utilities would rely too much on fossil fuels. Beyond that, the worry is that the process would unfold too slowly, all in the context that faulty utility equipment has led to numerous fires — not good with wildfire season coming up in September.

EU set to slightly surpass 2030 renewable energy goal, but funding boost needed (Reuters) The European Union looks set to slightly beat its goal to get a third of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, but public support will be needed to offset a drop in clean power investment due to COVID-19, the bloc’s top energy official said. EU countries’ latest energy policy plans would see the bloc reach a 33% share of renewable energy by 2030, surpassing its target by one percentage point, EU energy chief Kadri Simson told an online news conference on Monday.

How South Korea, France, and Italy are using the Covid-19 response to fight climate change (Vox) In the past few months, however, cities, businesses, and governments in other parts of the world have already shown that even while fighting off a deadly virus, they can take steps to mitigate the other massive catastrophe of climate change. With clear roads, clear skies, oil prices plummeting, businesses needing bailouts, and political capital to spend, countries like South Korea, Italy, and France have decided that the pandemic response is an opportunity to rethink energy, infrastructure, industry, and government in ways to cut pollution and reduce emissions contributing to climate change.

Group targeting environmental racism relaunches amid disparities in coronavirus impact (The Hill) The National Black Environmental Justice Network (NBEJN), which aims to fight environmental inequality and racism, is relaunching amid the disproportionate impact that the coronavirus has had on African Americans. The NBEJN will meet with black organizations from across the country in an attempt to come up with an environmental justice agenda for black America, Texas Southern University professor Robert Bullard said during a press call on Monday. The agenda will aim to tackle environmental protections, climate, health care, policing and criminal justice, economic development and clean energy, among other areas.

GE will make taller wind turbines using 3D-printing (The Verge) GE announced today that it’s developing skyscraper-sized wind turbines with massive 3D-printed bases. The conglomerate plans to work with partners in the construction industry to produce both a printer and materials that could eventually be deployed around the world. Taller turbines can capitalize on stronger winds at higher altitudes, and the structures support larger blades that generate more power. But building bigger turbines makes transporting the pieces needed to put it together a logistical nightmare. GE hopes to 3D print the base of a turbine wherever they want to place it, so that they won’t need to haul around such a gigantic hunk of concrete or steel. The company says its onshore turbines could reach up to 200 meters tall, which is taller than the Seattle Space Needle and more than double the average height for wind turbines in the US today.

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