Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables  -  February 6, 2021

Weekend reads: Exxon Mobil's $3 billion investment in carbon capture; GM pits US against Norway in EV Super Bowl ad

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

G20 Countries’ Climate Policies Fail to Make the Grade on Paris Promises (BloombergNEF) With just nine months to go until the critical next round of international climate talks, the world’s largest economies are far from having the right policy plans in place to meet the green pledges made at the COP21 climate conference in Paris in 2015, let alone bolder new promises to decarbonize, according to new research from BloombergNEF (BNEF). BNEF’s G20 Zero-Carbon Policy Scoreboard evaluates the G20 countries’ decarbonization policies to measure which governments have implemented regimes to realize the goals of the Paris Agreement, or more substantial decarbonization. It highlights examples of what works and could be replicated elsewhere, and flags where more progress is needed.

Exxon Mobil to invest $3 billion in carbon capture and other projects to lower emissions. (New York Times) Exxon Mobil, which has long been criticized by environmentalists and some investors and elected leaders for not doing enough to curb climate change, said on Monday it would invest $3 billion over the next five years in energy projects that lower emissions. The company said the first area it would work on is capturing carbon dioxide emissions from industrial plants and storing the gas so it does not enter the atmosphere, where it contributes to global warming. Many climate experts have said that such carbon capture and sequestration will be critical in the fight against climate change.

Webinar: Applying AI to Commercial HVAC Systems (Siemens) Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. HVAC systems consume on average between 20% and 50% of total building energy. While saving energy, aggressive efficiency standards established by regulators and organizations drive complexity and cost. At the same time, air quality and public health issues such as COVID-19 introduce new demands on safe and responsible operation of HVAC systems outside of efficiency or comfort demands. Cloud-enabled Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning can help solve these problems through use of dynamic models. These methods unlock ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and create dynamic flexibility as priorities change. This seminar will discuss methods, best practices, and pros and cons of using these approaches to controlling HVAC systems in modern buildings. REGISTER HERE

Student-Faculty Collaboration Tracks Corporate Efforts to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Yale University) For Daniela Chona ’20 and Pete Edmunds ’20, a summer spent as research assistants for one of their Yale SOM professors led to an unexpected role: as co-authors of a report tracking greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and efforts to curb them, among the biggest companies in the United States. The report, written with Professor Lesley Meng and published recently by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, examines the varying standards for how companies report emissions, identifies the biggest emitters, and looks at company goals and initiatives for emissions reduction, among other insights. The report, titled Net Zero: The Next Frontier for Corporate Sustainability, includes nine data visualizations analyzing GHG emissions from the S&P 100 across various dimensions.

Sustainability in Hollywood Backslides Amid COVID (The Hollywood Reporter) For the past decade, sustainability in Hollywood has revolved around a handful of environmental pillars: reducing waste, conserving energy, curbing the carbon footprint and donating leftover food and goods. Then came COVID-19. "So many of the advances that we've had — especially around craft services — have just been shattered," says Environmental Media Association CEO Debbie Levin, who has worked with studios on their green practices since 2003. The pandemic has overturned what once was considered de rigueur for many film and TV productions: Sets are axing reusable water bottles and going back to single-use; shifting buffet-style craft services tables to individual meals wrapped in plastic; restricting food and clothing donations because of possible contamination; and generating an unexpected level of medical waste with masks, gloves and coronavirus tests. As Levin notes, "It's everything we told everybody not to do for all these years."

GM sets stage for US competing with Norway on EV adoption in new Super Bowl ad with Will Ferrell (Electrek) GM appears to be setting the stage for the US to challenge Norway’s lead in electric vehicle adoption with a new Super Bowl ad featuring Will Ferrell. Over the last few years, several major automakers have used Super Bowl ads to promote their electric vehicles and electrification plans. Last year, GM used its Super Bowl ad to announce its electric Hummer. Now GM is again going to promote its plans to go electric in its Super Bowl ad, but it appears to be taking a different and amusing approach. The automaker hasn’t revealed the ad yet, but it has released a series of teasers that are mainly just Will Ferrell hating on Norway.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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