Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

July 24, 2021

Weekend Reads: Fueling the Olympics with Hydrogen; Congress Welcomes Hot FERC Summer

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

Japan’s ‘hydrogen economy’ to power the Tokyo Olympic Games (EuroNews) When the final torch bearer lights the Olympic cauldron in the Japan National Stadium on July 23, it will mark not only the start of the Games, but a new chapter in the country’s drive towards a sustainable future. For the first time in the history of the Games, hydrogen is fuelling both the Olympic and Paralympic Cauldrons in Tokyo and the Olympic Torch during part of its journey through Japan. Electricity used to create the hydrogen comes from a solar array located in the Fukushima prefecture.

Getting on Track for Net-Zero by 2050 Will Require Rapid Scaling of Investment in the Energy Transition Over the Next Ten Years (BloombergNEF) Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require as much as $173 trillion in investments in the energy transition, according to BloombergNEF’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2021 (NEO), the latest edition of its annual long-term scenario analysis on the future of the energy economy. The route to net zero remains yet uncertain. BNEF’s NEO outlines three distinct scenarios (labeled Green, Red and Gray) that each achieve net-zero while relying on a different mix of technologies.

Gas Ban Monitor: Building electrification evolves as 19 states prohibit bans (S&P Global) Local building electrification measures expanded and evolved in the first half of 2021, as the policy also percolated to the federal and international stage. Meanwhile, state laws prohibiting natural gas bans bolstered a growing firewall that now stretches across most of the southern U.S. and from the Rockies to the Midwest. The Biden administration on May 17 announced a building decarbonization policy that seeks to accelerate electrification and support the market for heat pumps. The following day, the International Energy Agency recommended policymakers around the world ban fossil fuel furnace sales by 2025 and adopt building codes that would largely phase out natural gas use in buildings.

More chickpeas, fewer chickens: DC food emissions bill set to upgrade diets for city meal recipients (The DC Line) For Emilie Cassou, the meals served to students like her son at his public elementary school in the District aren’t worth the tray they’re served on. Some might look at a typical lunch served to students and see a ham and cheese sandwich, a container of coleslaw, a fruit cup and some milk. But Cassou sees several suspected carcinogens within the deli meat, an unhealthy amount of mayonnaise, and more cow’s milk products than a child should consume at one meal. Instead, she and her husband follow nutrition guidelines that call for fewer saturated fats, salts and sugars, as endorsed by the Mayo Clinic and other prominent health organizations.

The day ‘Hot Girl Summer’ came to Congress (Grist) On Tuesday morning, Representative Sean Casten from Illinois stood on the House floor with a poster of the album art for Megan Thee Stallion’s “Hot Girl Summer” propped against a display easel beside him. The poster, which features a cartoonish illustration of Megan and collaborator Nicki Minaj riding a bottle of cognac like a horse, had been photoshopped to instead feature the logo for one of the government’s most nerdy, esoteric, and arguably un-hot agencies: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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