Weekend Reads - Smart Energy Decisions

August 14, 2021

Weekend Reads: Biden's Plan for the EV Transition; What the IPCC Report Means for Businesses

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

The Climate Emergency Is About Numbers. Here’s How to Fight It. (Bloomberg) A new report from the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that the planet will warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next two decades without drastic moves to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution. Already, the past decade was most likely hotter than any period in the last 125,000 years, with the group pinning the blame on human activity in the 3,949-page assessment. The report also found that combustion and deforestation have also raised carbon dioxide in the atmosphere higher than they’ve been in two million years, and agriculture and fossil fuels have contributed to methane and nitrous oxide concentration higher than any point in at least 800,000 years.

5 key corporate net-zero considerations based on the latest IPCC report (edie) The IPCC’s latest report has been delivered ahead of the panel’s full Sixth Assessment Report due this October. It warns that the window in which to deliver the "deep emissions cuts" needed to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis is closing rapidly, meaning that our best chance of delivering the Paris Agreement is to reach "at least net-zero" by 2050. Echoing the conclusion of the UN’s most recent 'emissions gap' report, the new IPCC paper states that the global temperature increase is likely to exceed 3C this century without “deep” cuts to emissions, taking place “immediately”. This would breach the aims of the Paris Agreement and deliver a plethora of climate-induced calamities related to extreme weather events and rising sea levels. Green groups have been quick to respond to the report, with many calling on policymakers to urgently ramp up climate ambitions prior to COP26 later this year. However, the report has some stark implications for businesses, many of which have been quick to align themselves with the net-zero movement.

Webinar: Making the Juice Worth the Squeeze: Expanding the Reach and Cash Value of your DERs. (Voltus) Wednesday, August 25, 2021. 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. It’s a great time to own distributed energy resources (DERs). Flexible load, distributed generation, energy storage, and even energy efficiency can be offered into electricity markets in exchange for cash payments and savings. How, though, do you know if you’re actually squeezing every penny out of your DERs? Join Todd Krause, Voltus SVP of Sales, to see how you stack up. Todd will unveil the maximum value of a DER megawatt in each of the nine North American electricity markets and show participants how to unlock that value. Special guest Jon Wellinghoff, former FERC Chairman and Voltus Chief Regulatory Officer, will also give attendees an update on how regulatory changes may open up new markets and program opportunities to energy consumers in the years ahead. REGISTER HERE

Biden, in a Push to Phase Out Gas Cars, Tightens Pollution Rules (The New York Times) President Biden on Thursday announced a multistep strategy aimed at rapidly shifting Americans from gasoline-powered cars and trucks toward electric vehicles — a central part of his plan to reduce the pollution that is heating the planet. Mr. Biden is first restoring and slightly strengthening auto mileage standards to the levels that existed under President Barack Obama but were weakened during the Trump administration. The new rules, which would apply to vehicles in the model year 2023, would cut about one-third of the carbon dioxide produced annually by the United States and prevent the burning of about 200 billion gallons of gasoline over the lifetime of the cars, according to a White House fact sheet.

New analysis shows it’s 50% cheaper to generate electricity from renewables (TechRadar) According to new analysis from energy think tank Ember, the cost of generating electricity from power plants using fossil fuels is around double what it costs to produce it from renewable sources. Ember’s findings, as reported in Yahoo! News, have arrived with the publication of their mid-year analysis of the energy sector. The data presented examined electricity production in 27 major EU nations across the first six months of the year and compared it to the same period in 2020, and in 2019 before the pandemic. The think tank believes that the reasons why electricity production from wind and solar is about 50% cheaper than fossil fuels stems from the continually rising cost of coal. In addition, the now increasing demand for electricity has also had an impact as Covid restrictions have eased around the world.

How innovations in energy storage technology support climate goals (World Economic Forum) In September 2017, Southern Australia suffered a state-wide blackout, sparking energy security debates around the intermittency of renewable energy. The solution came via a tweet from Elon Musk: “100 days from contract signature or it’s free”. Musk was referring to a 100MW battery storage system that would be installed quickly and help alleviate the pressure on a grid with high generation but low transmission and distribution connections. Tesla went on to successfully deliver the battery storage system, with a further 350MW procured since then, bringing the total to 450MW. However, in July 2021 a fire incident during storage system commissioning highlighted the importance of testing, monitoring and strict safety controls of these systems.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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