Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

October 9, 2021

Weekend Reads: The Role of Nuclear Power in the Net Zero Movement; Britain's Struggle with the Energy Transition

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

The Grid Isn’t Ready for the Renewable Revolution (Wired) You can almost hear the electrical grid creaking and groaning under the weight of the future, as two forces converge to push it—often literally—to its breaking point. One force is climate change, which can exacerbate disasters that take down parts of the grid, as Hurricane Ida did this summer, knocking New Orleans offline just as a heat wave settled in. Or extreme weather can suddenly spike the demand for energy just when the grid is least able to provide it, like during last winter’s Texas freeze and subsequent power system failure.

Britain’s Struggle to Transition Energy Market is a Lesson for All (Nasdaq) The U.K. was one of the first countries to pass legislation regarding emissions and carbon goals in 2008. Now the country is struggling as more U.K. power companies continue to go under with rising natural gas prices in an ill-equipped system to handle the transition, reports The Wall Street Journal. Power prices and natural gas in Europe have skyrocketed recently at a time when they should be at seasonal lows, hitting fresh highs on Tuesday as the beleaguered U.K. power suppliers continue to crumble under the mismatch of customer price caps against increasing supply prices. As of the end of last week, a total of nine power companies had gone under in the U.K., with the potential for further bankruptcies looming if the winter is even remotely harsh.

State, federal actions show growing push for a nuclear role in reaching net zero emissions (Utility Dive) Nuclear power advocates are increasingly emphasizing the value of existing but financially struggling U.S. nuclear plants in curbing carbon emissions and addressing climate change. Questions about nuclear power's costs and safety that kept it at 18% to 20.6% of U.S. electricity generation from 1990 to 2020 left little support for new plants. But extreme weather-driven disasters and predictions of much worse in the recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are driving new thinking about existing plants.

Video: Shell Energy business-to-business brand expands across the U.S. (Shell Energy ) MP2 Energy, LLC, along with other affiliate entities, will now go to market for commercial customers in the U.S. as Shell Energy, in a move demonstrating strong customer focus and signaling the strength of one energy brand dedicated to serving customers’ complete energy transition needs. The Shell Energy brand will encompass the customer-facing elements under which affiliates market wholesale and retail power, natural gas and environmental products, demand response, asset management, and energy solution sales to commercial and industrial customers.

Two key problems will keep sustainability reporting from changing the world (Quartz) There have been a lot of recent, positive developments in the world of corporate sustainability reporting. But can these efforts possibly keep pace with the interconnected and existential threats of the climate emergency, racial injustice and inequality, social unrest, and Covid-19? The amount of carbon in the atmosphere is growing despite the economic slowdown from the pandemic, and progress toward achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement hasn’t been fast enough. There’s been regression in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals—and 39% of business leaders report that their ambitions aren’t enough to achieve them.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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