Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

September 3, 2022

Weekend Reads: American Support for Climate Change Measures; Tesla Launches Virtual Power Plants in Japan

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

Climate Change Measures Are a Lot More Popular Than Americans Think (Bloomberg) Elke Weber became a research psychologist with cross-training in business so that she could investigate how individuals approach financial risks. But a chance opportunity at her first faculty job, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the late 1980s, threw her together with agricultural economists trying to understand if or how local farmers thought about climate change. The surveys they conducted led to an insight that set Weber on an unforeseen path.

European power prices shatter records as energy crisis intensifies (CNN Business) Power prices in Europe continue to smash records, intensifying the region's energy crisis and fanning fears about access to electricity and heating as the weather begins to cool. German power prices for next year, which are considered Europe's benchmark, briefly jumped above €1,000 ($999.80) per megawatt hour on Monday before falling back to €840 ($839.69) per megawatt hour. "This is not normal at all. It's incredibly volatile," said Fabian Rønningen, a senior analyst at Rystad Energy. "These prices are reaching levels now that we thought we would never see."

Webinar: Sustainable Values: Connecting Corporate Priorities, Sustainability and Community (Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions) Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. Sustainability has impacts far beyond the corporate campus. FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) is a world-leading contract development and manufacturing organization that is building the largest end-to-end cell-culture biopharmaceutical CDMO facility in North America with sustainability at its very core. Join this conversation between Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions and FDB’s Matt Kuntz, Head of EHS and Sustainability to hear how FDB’s vision of corporate sustainability impacts the communities in which it operates, as well as insights on: Community-impacting sustainability practices; Embracing energy efficiency across multiple corporate campuses; The role of energy resiliency in enabling corporate sustainability; and Making strides in supplier diversity, DEI, and STEM. REGISTER HERE

New York Is Beating Texas in Carbon-Free Electricity, But Maybe Not for Long (The Washington Post) It’s been hot this summer in much of the US, with the intensity of the heat waves likely due in part to rising concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In response, the 88% of us with air conditioning have been cranking it up. To meet the resulting increase in electricity demand, power generators have been burning more natural gas, coal and other things, thus emitting lots of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The key to getting out of this doom loop is moving to a system of electricity generation that isn’t so dependent on burning stuff. So how are we doing on that?

The Single-Most Misleading Stat in Renewable Energy (The Street) No energy source is perfect. Few are as divisive as renewable energy. Arguments against have focused on high costs, low reliability, and the inability to build a grid based on renewable energy. It's easy to disprove these arguments with real-world data. For example, wind and solar offer the lowest-cost electricity, on average, in the United States. Meanwhile, eight different states lean on wind power for at least 20% of their electricity. Texas generates more electricity from wind power alone than 39 states generate total. Include solar, and the Lone Star state generates more electricity from renewables than 42 states generate from all sources combined.

Tesla unveils new virtual power plant in Japan (Electrek) Tesla has unveiled a new virtual power plant using Powerwalls home battery pack, and this time, it’s on an island, Miyako-jima, in Japan. We have seen Tesla putting a lot of effort into virtual power plants lately. A virtual power plant (VPP) consists of distributed energy storage systems, like Tesla Powerwalls, used in concert to provide grid services and avoid the use of polluting and expensive peaker power plants. Tesla launched one in California earlier this year, and it had its first emergency event earlier this month with great results. Now the company is trying to deploy a virtual power plant in Texas, and of course, it also had one in operation for years in Australia that is still expanding. But now we have learned that Tesla also quietly built a new virtual power plant in Japan, and it has now decided to unveil it.

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