Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Sourcing Renewables  -  August 11, 2018

Weekend reads: Walmart vs. Trump; Pot growers embrace efficiency

Kick back and relax with these must-read energy stories from around the web: 

Walmart’s green energy zeal continues in Trump era (Finance & Commerce)  The plan laid out by Walmart Inc. was bold and startling: One of the biggest private electricity users in the U.S. promised to get half its power from solar and wind by 2025. If successful, Walmart would leap over Google to become the world’s top green-energy buyer. That was Nov. 4, 2016. Days later, Donald Trump was elected president, and soon green energy was under attack while coal was lauded. Taken together, Trump’s proposals could make renewable power more expensive — raising hurdles for Walmart, a company that progressives love to hate but that has a decade-long commitment to clean energy. 

How Chicago’s new electric buses could help balance the smart grid (Energy News Network)  Chicago has sweltered under several heat waves this summer, pushing the city’s power grid toward its capacity each time. The manufacturer of the city’s new fleet of electric buses says the vehicles could help relieve some of that burden on the grid. “Proterra’s Catalyst buses can act as a grid resource, although it is up to individual transit agencies, like CTA, to determine how to utilize those capabilities,” Karaline Bridgeford, a Proterra spokesperson, said.  

Analysis Reveals That World’s Largest Battery Saved South Australia $8.9 Million In 6 Months (Clean Technica)  Tesla’s 129 megawatt-hour (MWh) Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR) battery in South Australia continues to pull new tricks out of its hat and raking in the savings for South Australian residents along the way. Renew Economy estimates that the battery saved a jaw-dropping $5.7 million in its second quarter of operation based on just the 30 megawatts (MW) of capacity it is trading, delivering a gross margin of $8.9 million.  

5,500 UK churches switch to renewable energy (The Guardian)  More than 5,500 churches including some of the UK’s most famous cathedrals have converted to renewable power to help tackle climate change. Church of England places of worship, along with Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker and Salvation Army congregations, have made the switch to 100% renewable electricity, and faith leaders are urging more to follow suit. Fifteen Anglican cathedrals including Salisbury, Southwark, St Albans, Liverpool, Coventry and York Minster are among the buildings signed up to green electricity tariffs.  

The Impact: Marijuana Producers Learn to Reduce Their Energy Consumption (Marijuana.com)  The amount of electricity used to produce indoor-grown weed is staggering, and still growing. In 2012, researcher Evan Mills’ “The Carbon Footprint of Indoor Cannabis Production,” published in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal Energy Policy, found that Colorado indoor grows were already using the same amount of electricity as 1.7 million homes. That same year, California’s indoor grows accounted for 9 percent of household energy use. 

Keywords: Weekend reads

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