Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables  -  December 11, 2021

Weekend Reads: Demand Response Transit; Fixing the Power Grid

t's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these don't-miss articles from around the web:

The futuristic plan to fix America’s power grid (Vox)  This year, millions of Americans across the country lost power at times when they needed it most. As the US power grid deals with an onslaught of heat waves, winter storms, and stronger hurricanes caused by climate change, these kinds of failures are happening more often, taking longer to fix, and harming more people. Power blackouts, which used to be mostly seasonal occurrences, now occur year-round. But as we head into another winter — the season that accounts for the majority of the fuel used by residential customers in the United States — the power grid isn’t any better prepared for the extreme weather it is likely to face.

Inside Clean Energy: Batteries Got Cheaper in 2021. So How Close Are We to EVs That Cost Less than Gasoline Vehicles? (Inside Climate News)  The price of the batteries that power electric vehicles has fallen by about 90 percent since 2010, a continuing trend that will soon make EVs less expensive than gasoline vehicles. This week, with battery pricing figures for 2021 now available, I wanted to get a better idea of what the near future will look like. First, the numbers: The average price of lithium-ion battery packs fell to $132 per kilowatt-hour in 2021, down 6 percent from $140 per kilowatt-hour the previous year, according to the annual battery price survey from BloombergNEF. 

The Demand-response Transit Experiment Continues (Catalyst)  As app-based ride-hail services emerged in the last decade, public transit systems lost ridership. This is particularly true for ones in medium- and small-sized cities, where service is infrequent and never attracted high ridership to begin with. Midway through the last decade, an intermediate option—demand-response transit (DRT)—emerged between ride-hail and traditional bus services. This included the ride-pool options from Uber and Lyft, now-shuttered services like Chariot, and most notably Via.

In a red-state first, Nebraska plans to decarbonize power sector by mid-century (Grist)  Nebraska is a reliably red state. The last time Nebraskans backed a Democrat in a presidential election was 1964. Former president Donald Trump won the state in 2016 by a double-digit margin. So it’s no surprise that Nebraska, like 15 other Republican-controlled states, does not have a plan in place to tackle climate change — its conservative lawmakers have blocked efforts to create such a plan. But, unlike other states, Nebraska has other elected officials capable of making progress on reducing emissions.  

Visualizing Global Per Capita CO2 Emissions (Visual Capitalist)  Measuring the total carbon emissions doesn’t always paint the most accurate picture of a country’s contribution, if their population isn’t considered. For example, even though China is the highest emitter of [email protected], the average American is responsible for producing 14.4 tonnes of CO2 per person, compared to 7.1 tonnes for a Chinese citizen. Here’s a look at the biggest per-capital carbon emitters in the world.

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