Weekend Reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  July 3, 2021

Weekend Reads: A Solar Array in Space; Laguna Beach's EV Fleet Transition

It's the long holiday weekend! Celebrate and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

Offshore Wind-to-Hydrogen Sounds A Starting Gun (BloombergNEF) Offshore wind could become an important way to produce hydrogen at scale. The project pipeline is growing rapidly, costs are falling and non-economic factors are poised to boost uptake. BloombergNEF estimates that a mid-range price for offshore wind-to-hydrogen will be around $7/kg in 2025, dropping to $1/kg by 2050. The growing need to reduce emissions beyond the electricity sector has ignited interest in renewable hydrogen (H2). Offshore wind is one way to produce renewable hydrogen at scale. It is early days but the project pipeline is growing rapidly, with over 17GW of announced electrolyzer capacity. Orsted, RWE, Siemens and Shell are among those with projects in the pipeline.

In woody Wisconsin, biomass is key to energy future and economy, but also raises concerns (Energy News Network) Solar farms are sprouting up across Wisconsin and the state’s wind resources are slowly growing as Gov. Tony Evers has committed the state to reach 100% renewable electricity generation by 2050. Wind- and solar-related policies are regularly hashed out in often-bitter proceedings before the public utility commission and the legislature. Yet relatively little attention is paid to the potential and risks of Wisconsin’s arguably largest renewable energy source: biomass. When heating is considered along with electricity generation, the great majority of Wisconsin’s renewable energy comes from wood and biomass — including the residue from forestry and crops that fuels many industrial boilers, homes and one utility-scale power plant.

Laguna Beach to Examine Gradually Switching to Electric Vehicle Fleet (Voice of OC) Laguna Beach may start trading their municipal fleet of gas-powered vehicles for electric and hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles instead. “The benefits are an increasingly good sustainable fleet that will cost less to maintain and operate (and) cheaper fuel costs,” Laguna Beach Councilman George Weiss said at Tuesday’s meeting. “It also sends a message to our residents that we’re interested in doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet local climate goals.” The city council voted unanimously Tuesday night to have the city manager assess their current motorpool and look at the cost of gradually replacing the fleet for greener options. Electric vehicles require less maintenance, reduce emissions and other air pollutants in the city. Electricity is also less expensive, Weiss argues in his agenda item.

Visualizing 50+ Years of the G20’s Energy Mix (Visual Capitalist) Over the last 50 years, the energy mix of G20 countries has changed drastically in some ways. With many countries and regions pledging to move away from fossil fuels and towards cleaner sources of energy, the overall energy mix is becoming more diversified. But shutting down plants and replacing them with new sources takes time, and most countries are still incredibly reliant on fossil fuels. This video from James Eagle uses data from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy to examine how the energy mix of G20 members has changed from 1965 to 2019.

China’s super heavy rocket to construct space-based solar power station (Space News) China plans to use a new super heavy-lift rocket currently under development to construct a massive space-based solar power station in geostationary orbit. Numerous launches of the upcoming Long March 9 rocket would be used to construct space-based solar power facilities 35,786 kilometers above the Earth, according to Long Lehao, chief designer of China’s Long March rocket series, speaking during a presentation Thursday in Hong Kong. The project would aim to establish a large collecting area receiving solar energy near constantly, without the atmosphere or seasonal changes affecting energy levels. Converted energy would be then transmitted to Earth via microwaves or lasers. The project would provide large-scale renewable energy and help tackle energy resource scarcity.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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