Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

February 5, 2022

Weekend Reads: Some Reasons for Carbon Optimism; Biden Looks to RE to Revamp Puerto Rico's Grid

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

The road to an EV future still has a few potholes. Here's how to fix them (World Economic Forum) Late in 2021, Germany announced that sales of new internal combustion engine-driven (ICE) vehicles would end in 2030. The move did not catch the industry by surprise, despite the country having one of the largest ICE fleets in use in the world and being the proud home of traditional brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche. With more 40 countries pledging to phase out ICE vehicles before 2050, Germany simply joined the international race to cut emissions and electrify transportation.

A Kernel of Good News About Global CO₂ Emissions (Bloomberg) Global carbon dioxide emissions rose significantly last year, but they didn’t rise quite as much as some experts expected. Instead of increasing by 4.9% over 2020 levels, which the Global Carbon Project forecast in November, new estimates from the group suggest the increase was about 4.3%. If it sounds like a kernel of good news found on a cob full of bad news, you’re mostly right. Had the world invested a lot more of its stimulus dollars toward green activities, as the International Energy Agency had urged governments to do, there was a chance the emissions wouldn’t have bounced that much. Still, there may be a reason to be a little optimistic. Let’s turn back the clock to the financial crisis to understand why.

Webinar: Optimizing Facility Design for Both Decarbonization and Resiliency - It's Not Too Good to Be True! (Enchanted Rock) Wednesday, February 16, 2022,12:00 PM EST/ 9:00 AM PST. The call for a sustainable, decarbonized future is being heard by manufacturing industry leaders, who are now rethinking legacy approaches such as diesel backup power that don’t fit the new environmental mantra. With the increased number of longer-duration power disruptions due to extreme weather and an increasingly stressed electric grid, how can we both accelerate renewables adoption and ensure resilient operations?  REGISTER HERE

How Spiking Energy Prices Complicate the Fight Against Global Warming (The New York Times) While world leaders have vowed to scale back the use of fossil fuels to help keep a lid on global warming, a drastic upheaval in the markets for oil, natural gas and coal could complicate the shift toward cleaner sources of energy. Global oil prices have soared to their highest level in seven years, nearing $90 per barrel, as fears grow of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Europe is in the grips of a severe natural gas crunch that has roiled energy markets worldwide. And global demand for coal, the dirtiest of all fossil fuels, has surged to record highs as economies bounce back from pandemic lows.  There’s a broader lesson here, energy experts said. Even as governments and businesses invest in low-carbon energy sources like wind and solar power, the world will remain deeply reliant on fossil fuels for years to come.

Maybe Green Energy Needs ‘Information Batteries' Too (WIRED) For all its faults—and there are many—the electrical grid in the United States is a miracle worker: If you flip a switch the lights come on, almost without fail. But as renewables like solar and wind replace fossil fuels, that miracle work gets a bit tougher because sunlight and wind aren’t always available. Navigating this intermittency, as it’s known among energy geeks, demands a fundamental rethink of how consumers use and even help store energy. One day electric vehicle drivers might, for instance, use their cars as a vast network of batteries that grid operators can tap into when renewables wane.

Biden admin. bets on renewable energy to revamp Puerto Rico's electric system (NBC News) Puerto Rican Gov. Pedro Pierluisi is meeting with administration and agency officials in Washington on Wednesday as part of a formal agreement to revamp the U.S. territory’s outdated electric grid and move toward renewables. Three federal agencies — the Departments of Energy, Homeland Security and Housing and Urban Development — are signing an agreement to align federal investments with local policies to start transitioning into clean energy by 2025, with the goal of achieving 100 percent renewable electricity by 2050. The Biden administration says it's part of a commitment to ensure that $12 billion in federal aid for Puerto Rico's energy sector leads to a more resilient and sustainable grid, which is consistent with Biden's climate resilience goals, Pat Hoffman, principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Electricity at the Department of Energy, told NBC News.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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