Weekend Reads: Storing Carbon for 1,000 Years; A Regional Guide to Climate Change - Smart Energy Decisions

November 18, 2023

Weekend Reads: Storing Carbon for 1,000 Years; A Regional Guide to Climate Change

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

Space-based carbon dioxide monitoring reaches milestone (Axios)  This weekend saw the launch of a new, high-resolution satellite that can track global carbon dioxide emissions down to the power plant level. Why it matters: Known as GHGSat's "Vanguard," the spacecraft is part of a new generation of monitoring tools to pinpoint CO2 and methane emissions, both potent planet-warming gases. The new constellation — plus other methane-monitoring satellites and aircraft-generated emissions surveys — has the potential to transform the Paris Agreement and future global climate pacts into enforceable components of international law.

Bill Gates-backed startup can store carbon underground for 1,000 years in plant-based bricks (GeekWire)  Graphyte, a startup with backing from Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures, announced Monday that it has developed an affordable, long-term strategy for storing carbon that will keep it out of the atmosphere where it otherwise warms the planet. The company said it can provide carbon storage for less than $100 per ton — a price point that the Biden administration set as the “earthshot” goal of its climate funding efforts.

How does climate change threaten where you live? A region-by-region guide (Grist)  Every four years, the federal government is required to gather up the leading research on how climate change is affecting Americans, boil it all down, and then publish a National Climate Assessment. This report, a collaboration between more than a dozen federal agencies and a wide array of academic researchers, takes stock of just how severe global warming has become and meticulously breaks down its effects by geography — 10 distinct regions in total, encompassing all of the country’s states and territories. 

More powerful, resilient and versatile: The next generation of solar tech is emerging (Utility Dive)  As solar energy booms in the U.S. with record investments and installations, a wave of technological advancements is set to transform the amount of energy solar can produce, where it can be deployed, and how long it can last. “It seems like when there’s a good idea, it can very rapidly get rolled out through the whole industry,” said Chris Deline, a research engineer who leads the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s photovoltaic field performance group. 

Carbon Capture & Sequestration: The Elephants Do It, Why Can’t We? (CleanTechnica)   Carbon capture and sequestration projects in the US are hitting a wall. Local residents don’t like them and regulators are giving them the stinkeye. Financial and technological obstacles also abound. Meanwhile, researchers are beginning to put a dollar figure on the value of the carbon capture and sequestration provided by forest ecosystems while making the case for elephant conservation, too. 

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