Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

October 16, 2021

Weekend Reads: Biden's Sweeping Offshore Wind Plan; The Critical Role of Data Centers

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

Data Centers Set to Double Their Power Demand in Europe, Could Play Critical Role in Enabling More Renewable Energy (BloombergNEF) Large data centers in the U.K., Germany, Ireland, Norway and the Netherlands are projected to draw 5.4GW (gigawatts) in ‘live IT power’ demand in 2030, up from 3GW at the end of 2021, according to a new study published today by research company BloombergNEF (BNEF) in partnership with Eaton and Statkraft. That figure is based on a central scenario; the report also outlines a more aggressive growth scenario, which sees live IT power exceed 7GW by 2030. While generally seen as only a source of demand on the power system, the report finds that data centers are also a largely untapped resource to support the grid and the integration of renewables.

Evaluating a Company’s Net-Zero Carbon Target (Visual Capitalist) A net-zero carbon target is a climate essential. Companies from Apple to Microsoft are making commitments to halve their emissions by roughly 2030—and eliminate them altogether by 2050. These targets follow the recommendations set forward by the Paris Agreement in order to avoid devastating climate conditions for future generations. However, not all targets are rigorous, let alone feasible. To shine a light on this problem, MSCI developed a Net-Zero tracker that helps investors analyze the strength of company targets.

Investing in electric vehicle charging infrastructure is a win for our climate, US workers (The Hill) Transportation is the most-polluting sector of the American economy. Inefficient gas-powered cars and trucks release pollutants into the air, which are directly linked to respiratory problems and are key contributors to climate change. Fortunately, this pollution problem can be solved by electrifying the transportation sector. Transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs) will eliminate dangerous tailpipe emissions and it will bolster our fight against climate change. The cost savings of the EV transition will be profound, too. In tandem with a cleaner grid, achieving 100 percent electric vehicle sales by 2030 will generate $1.3 trillion in health and environmental cost savings in the coming decades.

Biden Administration Plans Wind Farms Along Nearly the Entire U.S. Coastline (The New York Times) The Biden administration announced on Wednesday a plan to develop large-scale wind farms along nearly the entire coastline of the United States, the first long-term strategy from the government to produce electricity from offshore turbines. Speaking at a wind power industry conference in Boston, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said that her agency will begin to identify, demarcate and hope to eventually lease federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Maine and off the coasts of the Mid-Atlantic States, North Carolina and South Carolina, California and Oregon, to wind power developers by 2025.

New Orleans restaurants helped neighbors post-Ida. Could solar extend that help next time? (Nola.com) Immediately after Hurricane Ida, some of the first grassroots disaster response in New Orleans came through small independent restaurants. With the electricity out and the city sweltering, these neighborhood spots became spontaneous hubs of local support, with some selling hot food produced by their gas-powered kitchens, others giving away their perishable inventory, and some simply offering a plug to charge a phone by generator power. But what if next time around restaurants were better prepared to provide this kind of support? A new initiative called Get Lit Stay Lit is out to show the potential for better-equipped neighborhood businesses in neighborhood support roles after a disaster.

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