Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  November 21, 2020

Weekend reads: Jeff Bezos' climate change grant; Using public lands for RE generation

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

Big electric trucks and buses are coming. Here’s how to speed up the transition. (Vox) There’s a growing consensus in the climate change community that the key to transitioning the US economy from fossil fuels is to electrify everything — shift the electricity grid over to carbon-free power and shift other big polluting sectors like transportation and heating over to electricity. When it comes to transportation, electrification is going to be tricky. Not long ago, the consensus was that the cost and power limitations of batteries would make it difficult to fully electrify anything larger than passenger vehicles. But batteries have been progressing in leaps and bounds.

Inside one of Jeff Bezos’ climate change grants (Axios) Jeff Bezos’ $100 million grant to the Environmental Defense Fund is tied as the biggest donation the group has ever received in its more than 50-year history, its president Fred Krupp told Axios Tuesday. Driving the news: The Bezos Earth Fund, the $10 billion fund Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos unveiled early this year, officially revealed its first recipients this week. They will receive a total of nearly $800 million. The intrigue: Krupp said Bezos’ office called EDF earlier this fall inquiring about donating. “A few days later, I found myself on the phone with him and he said he didn’t know much about climate change,” Krupp said.

Top U.S. Interior Department contender eyes renewable energy expansion on public land (Reuters) A top contender to lead the U.S. Interior Department under Democratic President-elect Joe Biden said the federal government should prioritize expanding renewable energy projects on public land, changing course after the Trump administration paved the way for a surge in oil and gas drilling there. Democratic U.S. Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico told Reuters that over the last four years Republican President Donald Trump’s administration has allowed drillers to “run roughshod” over federal lands and that it is now time to make it easier for renewable energy such as solar and wind power to expand.

ENGIE and EDPR Bring Large Scale Offshore Wind Company to US Energy Market (ESG Today) Renewable energy company EDP Renewables (EDPR) and power producer ENGIE announced that their offshore European wind company Ocean Winds (OW) is launching a US arm, OW North America. EDPR and Engie launched Ocean Winds in July 2020, to serve as both companies’ exclusive investment vehicle to capture marine wind energy opportunities around the world, covering floating and fixed offshore wind energy projects. The 50:50 joint venture created one of the top five global offshore wind operators, with 5.5 GW of committed offshore assets, and a target to reach 5 to 7 GW of projects in operation or under construction and 5 to 10 GW under advanced development by the middle of this decade.

Decarbonization of Eastern Europe’s Energy Mix Key to Higher EU Climate Goals (BloombergNEF) New EU level targets for 2030 will require fast decarbonization in the power sector, and a major acceleration of the energy transition in some European member states that still rely heavily on coal generation. The EU Commission’s plan to use the EU carbon trading scheme as a key instrument to achieve these targets could drive some 40GW of coal power plants out of the market in central and eastern Europe by 2030, provided national policies to enable replacement economic clean capacity build are enacted.

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