Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

August 13, 2022

Weekend Reads: Unpacking Congress' Historic Climate Bill; How Heatwaves Are Hindering Solar Power

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

The Senate just passed one of the biggest bills to fight climate change, ever (Vox) Congress surpassed its biggest roadblock to finally passing historic climate legislation. After nearly 18 months of haggling and 15-straight hours of weekend votes, Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act on a strict party-line vote on Sunday. The bill contains $369 billion in funding for clean energy and electric vehicle tax breaks, domestic manufacturing of batteries and solar panels, and pollution reduction. It is the single most important step the US has ever taken to combat the climate crisis. And arguably, it’s one of the single biggest investments ever made on climate in the world.

Why don't solar panels work as well in heatwaves? (World Economic Forum) Heatwaves are good for generating solar energy – right? Well, yes and no. Recent hot weather has generated record amounts of solar power. Germany broke a new record for solar power generation, and, in the United Kingdom, solar power met up to a quarter of the nation’s power needs, according to the news site Energy Live News. But too much heat can actually be bad for solar panels. Heat can “severely reduce” the ability of solar panels to produce power, according to CED Greentech, a solar equipment supplier in the United States.

Webinar: Delivering Sustainable Energy as a Service as the first step towards net zero goals (Metrus Energy) Wednesday, August 24, 2022. 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. Transitioning to a sustainable, low-carbon future requires creativity, collaboration, and action. And that action requires access to the kind of financial and technical resources that enable businesses to take on large-scale, meaningful projects. Metrus Energy is putting their deep financial and technical knowledge to good use by knocking down barriers to ambitious sustainability projects and providing companies with the resources and partnerships they need to meet their decarbonization and other sustainability goals while saving money — all with zero upfront cost or risk. After the panel discussion participants will understand a new way to implement comprehensive, multi-measure energy and water efficiency upgrades moving them closer to achieving their carbon reduction goals. REGISTER HERE

Historic climate bill faces state schism on clean energy (Politico) The suite of tax incentives in the $369 billion “Inflation Reduction Act” could spur record-setting growth in wind and solar capacity if prices for those zero-carbon generation sources remain low, according to several computer models. But the sweeping congressional package — which passed the Senate yesterday as part of the budget reconciliation process — is raising several critical energy questions for the nation’s climate future: Where would the new turbines and panels go? And would a surge in renewable energy bridge a sharp red-state, blue-state political divide that has defined the climate issue for the past decade?

The US-China Rift Moves Climate Politics Into an Era of Competition (Bloomberg) This month's biggest climate milestones happened over one weekend. On Sunday, the US Senate approved hundreds of billions of dollars in climate and clean-energy spending. Just two days before, climate cooperation between the US and China — the world’s largest economies and emitters — came to an abrupt halt. How these two turning points shake out will determine the fate of global climate goals. The end of climate cooperation between Beijing and Washington came Friday when, in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China suspended climate talks.

We Could Save the Grid by Using Less Electricity (Texas Observer) Two months into a prolonged, record-breaking heat wave, Texans have once again become very familiar with conservation alerts from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The agency has repeatedly asked residents to turn up thermostats and save electricity during the hottest summer afternoons. And to everyone’s pleasant surprise, the grid has held up—thanks in large part to people heeding conservation alerts, and to renewable energy projects picking up slack as the state’s fossil fuel plants falter.  But there’s no guarantee the grid will continue to function in summers to come.

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